Fake Posts About French Rots Spreading Online

Fake Posts About French Rots Spreading Online

July 5, 2023, 7:43 a.m.

Social media users are being warned over fake posts about the French riots that began after police shot dead a 17-year-old boy during a traffic stop in Paris suburbs.

An image purportedly taken on Sunday and showing a group of youths driving a police van has gone viral.

But the color and shape of the vehicle as well as the number of people on board and the background look the same as a scene from a French film called Athena.

The 2022 film is a fictional account of violent protests triggered by the death of a boy.

The original post was deleted, but it has been widely shared. Other fake images are also spreading, prompting media outlets and others to issue warnings.

The Interior Ministry says there have been more than 12,000 incidents of garbage bins and other property set ablaze.

The ministry also says more than 5,800 vehicles were set on fire, while the number of buildings that became targets of arson or vandalism exceeded 1,100.

President Emmanuel Macron held a meeting on Tuesday with leaders of more than 200 local governments from areas where riots took place.

French media quoted Macron as saying that the violence had passed its peak, although he is not sure whether the situation will calm down.

Macron also reportedly indicated that the government will draft emergency legislation to repair damaged schools and public buildings, and provide financial aid to local authorities.

But the situation is unlikely to return to normal anytime soon, as sporadic violence is continuing.

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