A 24-second long video showing a massive cyclone on a coast, looming over a cityscape went viral on social media with the claim that it showed, “Hurricane Shaheen on the shores of Oman.” Newschecker found the video is an animation created by an American artist, Brent Shavnore.
Netizens posted the video online claiming ‘it was shot from Burj Khalifa -the tallest building in the world’ weeks after tropical cyclone Shaheen hit the northern coast of Oman on October 3. Four people were reportedly killed in heavy rain and flooding caused due to the cyclone.
Using CrowdTangle -a social media monitoring platform- we found the video has been posted over 40 times on Facebook since October 17 and has garnered lakhs of views.
To verify if the video is showing cyclone Shaheen on the shores of Oman, we ran a keyword search using Twitter advanced search and found a Tweet by Javed Afridi, a Pakistani business man dated September 4, 2019.
Afridi’s tweet shows that the video is not a recent one and hence is not related to cyclone Shaheen.
On running a reverse image search on Google, we found a similar image on Shutterstock -a stock photography website. The image captioned “Helicopter view of South Beach, Miami,” closely resembles the frame in the viral video.
Further, we found the viral video on a Facebook post by Brent Shavnore dated May 2019. Shavnore had shared the post with the caption, “Amazing animation edit to my artwork from @theglitch.og ”
We found the same video posted on Instagram by Shavnore who describes himself as a digital artist and by ‘theglitch.og’ which features digital art videos on its Instagram page. Both the Instagram posts are dated May 2019.
Theglich.og has posted the video with the caption “There is peace even in the storm – Vincent van Gogh. Photo taken by @shavnore, Animation by TheGlitch @theglitch.og”
Newschecker’s investigation found a digital art video from May 2019 was falsely shared as Hurricane Shaheen in Oman.
Result: False Connection
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