In late July 2016, a cluster of blogs published identical posts claiming purported “Black Lives Matter co-founder” Kayla McKelvey was captured on video defecating on an ice rink. The rumors were quite suspect because not only did they lack any corroborating information (such as date, time, or location), they also all featured the same animated GIF from LiveLeak in lieu of an actual video:
Predictably, numerous searches of that site turned up no such footage, and the GIF included what looked to be Chinese characters in the upper right hand corner. We searched YouTube to see if any videos matched the claim and immediately located the source video — uploaded on 15 July 2016 (about one week before the rumor began circulating), it was captioned “Chinese woman poops in public” and clearly depicted events in China captured by CCTV:
All versions of this rumor carried only the animated image and not a link to the video, presumably in order to deliberately advance an untruth likely to generate viral traffic. Locating the source video quickly revealed the incident occurred outside the United States and had nothing to do with the Black Lives Matter movement.
In some versions of the rumor McKelvey was said to have been a guest of President Obama’s at the White House; in others, she purportedly stated that she engaged in the act of sabotage out of resentment toward ice-skating white people. However, we could find no information that substantiated McKelvey had visited the White House claim or was a Black Lives Matter activist (much less a “co-founder” of that movement).