Footage does not show protesting French farmers digging up highways leading to Paris

31 January 2024
What was claimed

A video shows protesting farmers in France digging up the highways that lead to Paris.

Our verdict

This isn’t what the video shows. While farmers have been protesting countrywide, the footage is from a supermarket car park in a town 365 miles south of Paris.

A video circulating on social media falsely claims to show protesting French farmers  digging up roads leading to Paris.

In the footage shared multiple times on Facebook, and over 18,000 times on X (formerly Twitter), tractors are being used to pull up the surface of a road.

Captions with the clip say: “The protests are escalating as Farmers take to digging up Highways that lead into Paris. They are suffocating the French Capital & restricting supply chains - this is now MUCH more than just protesting ludicrous taxes - this is about all the Tyrannical measures & decisions since the Covid Tyranny. THIS IS A FULL BLOWN REVOLUTION [sic]”.

But the location of the protest is not as claimed in the post and is actually hundreds of miles away from Paris.

It’s important to check whether posts on social media show what they claim to show before sharing them—to do this, you can read our guides on ways to spot misleading images and videos.

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Where did it happen?

The video was filmed in the town of Clermont-l'Hérault, located around 365 miles south of Paris on 25 January.

Protesting farmers used tractors and farm machinery to ‘plough’ the asphalt at a car park of a branch of E.Leclerc, a French supermarket chain.

At 18 seconds into the video signage bearing ‘’ can be seen.

It comes amid countrywide protests by French farmers against falling incomes, rising bureaucracy and competition from imports.

These have included using tractors to block the highways and major roads to the capital on Monday 29 January, in a direct action dubbed the ‘siege of Paris’.

Full Fact has written about other images and videos that claim to show events in France but are either from other locations, miscaptioned or even generated using artificial intelligence. These include images or videos of the Eiffel tower on fire, manure being dumped outside a McDonald’s branch, tanks parading the streets and President Macron in front of burning rubbish

Image courtesy of X. Fonseca/CIMMYT

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