Fact Check

Does This Video Show Dozens of New Cars Set on Fire by French Protesters?

Some social media users claimed the video was taken during riots in Marseille in July 2023.

Published July 3, 2023

 (Twitter user @matttttt187)
Image courtesy of Twitter user @matttttt187
A video shared online in July 2023 showed dozens of cars being set on fire by French protesters.

The viral video did not show dozens of cars being set on fire by French protesters in July 2023. Instead, it showed a fire incident that occurred at an auction yard in Perth, Australia, in April 2023.

In late June 2023, massive protests broke out in France due to the death of Nahel, the 17-year-old shot dead in Nanterre during a police check. In connection with the event, a wave of disinformation and misinformation spread across social media platforms. 

A video allegedly showing dozens of new cars that were set on fire by French protesters in July 2023 was shared on numerous social media profiles and websites. It also spread on Turkish, Arabic, and Russian-speaking media, with users claiming it showed "the consequences of unprecedented protests in France." Although the video is authentic, the event depicted in the video did not occur during the French protests, nor was it even in France.

The video actually shows a fire that broke out at a Pickles auction yard in Perth, Australia, in April 2023.

Given that the video was shared out of context, contributing to the spread of misinformation regarding the protests in France, we rate it as 'Miscaptioned.'

The original video and similar footage were originally published on Twitter and TikTok on April 28, 2023, and reposted on YouTube and TikTok in May 2023.

In May 2023, the video in question was miscaptioned by social media users falsely claiming that in the USA, a fire broke out at a warehouse of electric cars that were waiting to be sold to clients when the battery of one of the cars started to burn. You can read our article on the topic here.

Shayan Sardarizadeh, a journalist at BBC Verify, published a thread on Twitter discussing the topic of other miscaptioned footage, emphasizing the importance of fact-checking in today's digital age.

During times of unrest and confusion, misinformation and disinformation can easily spread, as demonstrated by the misrepresentation of the video's context. It's important to verify the sources and context of any videos before sharing them on social media. If you're unsure if a photograph or a video on social media is authentic, feel free to send it to us. 


Giant Blaze Destroys 60 Vehicles at Pickles Auction Yard in Perth | Perth | The Guardian. https://amp.theguardian.com/australia-news/2023/apr/29/giant-blaze-destroys-60-vehicles-at-pickles-auction-yard-in-perth. Accessed 3 July 2023.

LaMagdeleine, Izz Scott. "Did an Electric Car Fire at a US Warehouse Destroy Dozens of Cars?" Snopes, 25 May 2023, https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/electric-car-warehouse-fire/.

"Youths Clash with French Police and Loot in 4th Night of Riots Triggered by Fatal Police Shooting." AP News, 30 June 2023, https://apnews.com/article/france-police-shooting-nanterre-nahel-9ec58a1219c943b9dd09c41db405c41b.

Aleksandra Wrona is a reporting fellow for Snopes, based in the Warsaw area.

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