The viral video did not show the biggest library in France being burned down by rioters. Instead, it showed a Manila Central Post Office in the Philippines on fire in May 2023.
On July 5, 2023, multiple social mediausers and websitesshared a video allegedly showing the biggest library in France being burned down by rioters. Although the video was authentic, it didn't show a fire related to the massive protests in the aftermath of the shooting of a 17-year-old in Nanterre during a police check. The viral video showed a Manila Central Post Office in the Philippines that broke out in May 2023.
(Twitter user @roller2426, Manila Bulletin)
Google Maps and news reports from varioussources such as Manila Bulletin (the Philippines' largest English-language newspaper), CNN Philippines, and Reuters confirmed our findings. The miscaptioned video most probably spread because of the authentic events that took place in Marseille, France. The Bibliothèque l'Alcazar, a library in Marseille, was, in fact, attacked by the rioters due to the massive protests. But it didn't burn down, and as of July 5, 2023, the library has reopened, as various local newspapers reported.
Here's what the library in Marseille looks like.
(Google Maps screenshot of Bibliothèque l'Alcazar)
Given that the verified video visually matches pictures of the Manila Central Post Office and not the library in Marseille, we rate the claim as "Miscaptioned."
One of the Twitter users who shared the footage from the Philippines claiming it showed the library in Marseille admitted it did not show the situation in France. One user commented, "take down the click bait wrong video and repost the correct one," as the miscaptioned footage gained much more attention than its correction.
Since the beginning of the protests in France in late June 2023, Snopes has debunked multiple false claims on the topic. Another video that went viral allegedly showed dozens of cars being set on fire by French protesters. In reality, it showed a fire incident that occurred at an auction yard in Perth, Australia, in April 2023.
What's more, some social media users claimed that France had restricted "all internet access" across the country. That rumor was false, and the French Interior Ministry's Twitter account posted that a document attributed to the ministry was fake and that no such decision had been made.
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"Mort de Nahel : tensions à Marseille, des affrontements toujours en cours, la devanture de la bibliothèque de l'Alcazar vandalisée." LaProvence.com, 29 June 2023, https://www.laprovence.com/article/actualites/5135274842858615/mort-de-nahel-tensions-a-marseille-des-affrontements-toujours-en-cours-la-devanture-de-la-bibliotheque-de-lalcazar-vandalisee.
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