The Republican National Convention released a video on its first night denouncing protests in the United States and citing potential chaos on the streets if Democratic candidate Joe Biden is elected president.
A problem with the video? One part was showing a different protest, in a different country, a different year.
The NBC News Social Newsgathering team were able to identify that part of the video was actually taken during the Catalonia independence protests in Spain in October 2019 and not the recent protests in the United States for racial injustice and police brutality. Catalan public broadcaster CCA was the first to report disinformation on August 25.
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The video, which has since been posted on President Trump’s official YouTube account, is titled “Catalina and Madeline” and features two Chicago-area sisters, Catalina and Madeline Lauf, discussing their conservative beliefs and their support for the president.
“It’s a taste of Biden’s America,” one of the sisters said as photos and videos of protests flash across the screen. “The riots, the crime. Freedom is at stake now and it will be the most important election of our lives. “
While the footage appears to allude to recent U.S. protests after George Floyd’s fatal meeting with Minneapolis police in May, the 4:16 mark in the video shows cars, traffic signs and garbage on fire amidst the street as people. led by fire – in Barcelona.
This segment of the video released by the RNC corresponds to an undated video from Shutterstock, titled “Young Riot Rebel Revolutionary Anarchist.” Shutterstock is often used as a source for photos and videos.
Although the Shutterstock video does not specify where or when it was taken, Getty Images, a photo and video agency, captured video of the same incident from a different angle. Getty’s description of their video indicates that protesters clashed with police on October 16, 2019 in Barcelona, Spain, after nine Catalan separatist leaders were sentenced for their involvement in the province’s independence referendum in 2017.
NBC News’ Social Newsgathering team geolocated the specific Barcelona street where this clash with the police took place. In the Google Maps street view of the location, 113 Carrer de Roger de Flor, many door arches and balconies can be seen, which match those seen in the video segment used in the RNC video.
The Trump campaign and the RNC did not respond to NBC News’ request for comment.
Most Americans believe fabricated news and disinformation has an impact, according to the Pew Research Center. The survey, conducted shortly after the 2016 election, found that 64% of American adults surveyed believe fake news causes a lot of confusion.