Video shows 2009 Malmö riot, not recent Eurovision protests

10 May 2024
What was claimed

A video shows violent pro-Palestinian protesters in Malmö, Sweden, demonstrating against Israel’s participation in the Eurovision Song Contest 2024.

Our verdict

False. The video shows a riot in Malmö in 2009 during a Davis Cup tennis match between Sweden and Israel.

A video has been shared widely with claims it shows crowds in Malmö, Sweden, protesting against Israel’s participation in the Eurovision Song Contest 2024. But the video actually comes from 2009 and is not related to the competition.  

The video shows a violent demonstration outside a stadium and includes individuals throwing bricks and at one point a bicycle at police vehicles. 

One post on X (formerly Twitter) has more than 3,700 shares and has the caption: “Muslim migrants who were given shelter in Sweden are destroying Swedish tax payers’ property because an Israeli singer took part in Eurovision. I can’t think of a dumber and more ungrateful people than these.”

A screenshot of the video shared on Facebook has been edited to appear as though it is accompanying a news story about safety concerns regarding the Israeli contestant at Eurovision, Eden Golan. This version has a ‘Breaking News’ banner as well as text at the bottom saying: “Thousands of Hamas supporters try to lynch 20-year-old Jewish woman, Eden Golan, for representing Israel at Eurovision Song Contest.” 

Ms Golan qualified by public vote for the competition’s final, which takes place in Malmö on 11 May

While thousands of pro-Palestinian demonstrators—reportedly as many as 12,000 people—took to the streets of Malmö to protest Israel’s participation in the competition, the protests have been described as “largely peaceful”, although Ms Golan has been confined to her room when off stage. Police and organisers in Malmö have reportedly said they are “well prepared”. 

The footage being shared on social media actually shows a riot outside a Davis Cup tennis match between Sweden and Israel in 2009, which was played to an empty arena due to security concerns. 

A longer version of the video was shared on YouTube in 2009 with the description (translated from Swedish by Google): “the riots in Malmö against the tennis match.” Other photos of the riot, which match the video, are also available online

Reuters said at the time that around 200 “left-wing militants” joined a peaceful pro-Palestinian demonstration during the match. This reportedly came following a three-week Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip beginning in December 2008. 

Miscaptioned images and videos are a common form of online misinformation that Full Fact has written about many times before. It’s important to consider whether something shows what it claims to before sharing it on social media—our guide on verifying misleading videos may help you to do this. 

Image courtesy of Console8430

Full Fact fights bad information

Bad information ruins lives. It promotes hate, damages people’s health, and hurts democracy. You deserve better.