Social media posts twist an old photo of France by suggesting that the sea of people on the streets shows ” [p]People are waking up to the tyranny of vaccines. TThe photo actually shows a celebration in Paris after France won the 2018 World Cup.
An image widely shared on social media shows a woman holding the French flag behind her, with crowds of people filling the street below. It captures a celebration in Paris after France’s victory in the 2018 World Cup final.
But social media users are now twisting this photo to suggest that it was taken recently during a protest against COVID-19 vaccines.
“France today”, we read in a tweet of July 18. “People are waking up against the tyranny of vaccines and the new world order!
The photo appeared the same day in a Telegram post with the same text.
Another tweet in the July 18 photo – shared nearly 2,000 times – was associated with a more implicit message: “‘They say 2 million people took to the streets of Paris’ Shit becomes real people – want to you being on the good or bad side for this one?
On Facebook, a user shared the photo and said, “Yeah, That is true Millions of people are awake, MILLIONS. Go FRANCE and all those who do not comply with trash mind control. Over 250 users shared the post.
The photo also appeared on Instagram with a post against vaccines in a post liked nearly 600 times. The user said she had “no way of proving that this photo is real but that it is supposed to come from France”.
There have indeed been well-attended protests in France against COVID-19 vaccines, with some opposing a government measure that will require individuals to present proof of vaccination – or a negative COVID-19 test or a recent recovery from illness – in order to enter events or public places.
Reverse image searches, however, show that the photo circulating on social media with anti-vaccine messages is not from such an event – but from a World Cup celebration on July 15, 2018.
The photo shows a swarm of celebrants taking to the streets after France’s victory over Croatia in the World Cup. It was credited to Ludovic Marin of the AFP news agency. A legend indicates that it was taken from the top of the Arc de Triomphe.
Editor’s Note: COVID-19 Project / SciCheck Vaccination is made possible by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The foundation has no control on our editorial decisions, and the opinions expressed in our articles do not necessarily reflect the views of the foundation. The goal of the project is to increase exposure to accurate information about COVID-19 and vaccines, while reducing the impact of misinformation.
“After the victory, the French rejoice on the Champs-Élysées.” The Republican East. Jul 15, 2018.
Breeden, Aurélien. “In France, demonstrations of anger, infections on the rise and record vaccinations. New York Times. Jul 19, 2021.
Gouvy, Constantin. “France: thousands of people demonstrate against vaccination, COVID is passing. »Associated Press. Jul 17, 2021.
Savage, Gregory. “France is preparing to introduce the Covid-19 ‘health pass’ to access cultural places. »France 24 July 16, 2021.
“Varane joined the group of Cup champions and Champions the same year. »Gazeta Esportiva. July 15, 2018.