Footage of fireworks display not celebration of El Salvador election result

7 February 2024
What was claimed

A video of fireworks filling the sky is from celebrations in El Salvador following the re-election of Nayib Bukele as president.

Our verdict

False. The video is from Split in Croatia, and the pyrotechnic display marked the 70th anniversary of a football team fan group.

A video of a huge fireworks display circulating on social media does not show people celebrating the results of an election in El Salvador as some online have claimed.

Users on Facebook and X (formerly Twitter) have shared a video showing a car driving along a road, with fireworks and red flares filling the sky.

One caption says: “Wow The streets of El Salvador celebrating the presidential re-election of Nayib Bukele, which he won with 87% of the votes. #ElSalvador [sic].”

However, the video was not filmed in El Salvador and predates the Central American country’s re-election of Nayib Bukele as president on 4 February

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Where is the footage from?

According to Reuters, the video was shared in 2020 by a now private Instagram page in a post which said that it showed celebrations in the Croatian city of Split to mark the anniversary of a football fan group. 

A GIF of the video was also shared in November 2020, and the same footage was uploaded to Youtube in 2021, attributed to Split in Croatia.

The display was not marking a political event, but to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Torcida Split, an ‘ultras’ fan group for the Croatian football team HNK Hajduk Split on 28 October, 2020.

Numerous other videos from Split show the same red fireworks and flares lighting up the sky as part of the night celebrations in the city.

The same video has previously been misattributed to celebrations in Naples after the Napoli football team won a title in 2023, with other footage of the dramatic pyrotechnics also claimed to be from Brazil after the 2022 presidential election.

Miscaptioned videos like these further the spread of misinformation. We have previously written about a video falsely claiming to be of a ‘Muslim black man’ pushing a child off a train platform in France and a satirical video of a meeting of the World Economic Forum being shared as if it was genuine.

It’s important to check whether posts on social media show what is claimed before sharing them. We’ve written a guide on how to verify videos here

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