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Video Showing Post Office Up In Flames In Philippines Shared As Library Torched By Rioters In France

Authors

Vasudha noticed the growing problem of mis/disinformation online after studying New Media at ACJ in Chennai and became interested in separating facts from fiction. She is interested in learning how global issues affect individuals on a micro level. Before joining Newschecker’s English team, she was working with Latestly.

Pankaj Menon is a fact-checker based out of Delhi who enjoys ‘digital sleuthing’ and calling out misinformation. He has completed his MA in International Relations from Madras University and has worked with organisations like NDTV, Times Now and Deccan Chronicle online in the past.

Claim
Visuals of a library torched by rioters in France.

Fact
Old video of a fire engulfing a post office in the Philippines.

France has been experiencing massive unrest over the fatal shooting of a teenage boy by a police officer since last week. Amid reports of widespread riots and arson, footage of fire tearing through a colossal building by a river has gone viral. Those sharing the twelve-second-long-video alleged that it shows the largest library in France torched by the rioters. A few even identified the building as the Alcazar library in Marseille, which was reportedly targeted by the protesters.. Newschecker found that the video dates back to May 2023, and shows an incident from the Philippines.

Such posts can be seen here, here, here, here, and here.

Also Read: Amid Riots In France, Old & Unrelated Videos Go Viral On Social Media

Fact Check/Verification

On skimming through the comment sections of the social media posts carrying the video, we spotted a user pointing out that the clip is in fact from a post office in the Philippines.

Rioters In France
Screengrab from Twitter

Taking a clue, we looked up “Philippines,” “post office” and “fire” on Google which yielded a report by AP, dated May 22, 2023. Carrying a video of a building on fire, it stated, “A massive fire tore through Manila’s historic post office building overnight, slightly injuring seven people and razing the nearly 100-year-old landmark in the Philippine capital, police and postal officials said.”

Screengrab from AP website

On comparing the keyframes of video by AP with the viral footage we could conclude that they show the same incident. 

(L-R) Screengrab from AP video and screengrabs from viral footage
(L-R) Screengrab from AP video and screengrab from viral footage

Also Read: Wild Animals On Paris Streets? Old Videos Falsely Linked To Ongoing Riots In France

We also found a video report by Sky News, dated May 22, 2023, on a massive fire at the  post office in Manila in the Philippines.

Screengrab from YouTube video by Sky News

It featured the same camera movement (pan – left to right) as seen in the viral footage, which further confirmed that the widely circulated clip actually shows a fire at a Philippines post office and not a French library.

(L-R) Screengrab from YouTube video by Sky News and screengrab from viral footage

Multiple news outlets reported on the fire incident that ripped through the historic Central Post Office in Philippines’ Manila in May this year. Such reports can be seen here, here and here.

Reportedly, the Philippines’ Bureau of Fire Protection had later found that a sudden explosion of a car battery located in a storage room caused the fire that gutted the historic Manila Central Post Office.

We were also able to geo-locate the building seen in the viral footage -Manila Central Post Office, and the same can be seen here.

Also Read: Amid Unrest, French Government Calls Out Viral ‘Internet Ban’ Circular As Fake

Conclusion

We can thus conclude that an old video of a blaze at a post office in Manila has been shared to show that the largest library in France was torched by the rioters. 

Result: False

Sources
Report By AP, Dated May 22, 2023
YouTube Video By Sky News, Dated May 22, 2023
Google Earth View


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Authors

Vasudha noticed the growing problem of mis/disinformation online after studying New Media at ACJ in Chennai and became interested in separating facts from fiction. She is interested in learning how global issues affect individuals on a micro level. Before joining Newschecker’s English team, she was working with Latestly.

Pankaj Menon is a fact-checker based out of Delhi who enjoys ‘digital sleuthing’ and calling out misinformation. He has completed his MA in International Relations from Madras University and has worked with organisations like NDTV, Times Now and Deccan Chronicle online in the past.

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