Picture of refugee banner wasn’t taken in France

4 July 2023
What was claimed

An image shows a photo of a pro-refugee protest in France in 2016 and another of the recent riots in the country.

Our verdict

The picture of the pro-refugee banner was actually taken in Brussels, Belgium, in 2015. The second picture is from the recent riots in France.

An image widely-shared on Facebook contrasts what it claims is a photo of a pro-refugee banner at a protest in France in 2016 with a picture of recent riots in the country. 

The images have also been shared many thousands of times on Twitter

The first picture, captioned “France in 2016” shows a group of young people apparently at a march, holding a large banner which reads: “They are not dangerous, they are in danger! #refugeeswelcome”. 

But this picture wasn’t taken in France at all. It is actually from a large demonstration that took place in Brussels, Belgium, in 2015

The second picture, captioned “France in 2023”, shows the silhouettes of what appear to be a number of emergency service workers in front of several burning vehicles. 

This is from the recent riots in France, and was taken by a Reuters photographer on 28 June

The unrest in France, which followed the police shooting of teenager Nahel M in the Paris suburb of Nanterre on 27 June, has become the subject of significant online misinformation. 

We have already written about videos falsely claiming to show zoo animals released by protesters and a picture of rioters near the Eiffel Tower that was actually taken in 2016.

Misleading images and videos are some of the most common kinds of misinformation we see online, but they can sometimes be hard to spot. It’s always worth checking if a social media video shows what the post says it does before you share it—we have written guides on how to do so here and here.

Image courtesy of Florian Olivo 

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