A video of a crowd barging inside a supermarket as soon as the shutter opens is doing the rounds on social media implying that the video depicts the state of social distancing in the US.
On March 29, Facebook user Hetal Panchal posted the video with the message, “જુવો અમેરિકા માં વોલમાર્ટ આગળ લાગી લાઈનો. આપણા ત્યાં નાની નાની કરિયાણાની દુકાનો હોવાથી આવી પરિસ્થિતિ નથી .જુવો અમેરિકનો ની દશા (See the queue lined up at America’s Walmart. Because, we have small-small grocery stores, we don’t have this situation. See the state of America -translated)”.
જુવો અમેરિકા માં વોલમાર્ટ આગળ લાગી લાઈનો. આપણા ત્યાં નાની નાની કરિયાણાની દુકાનો હોવાથી આવી પરિસ્થિતિ નથી .જુવો અમેરિકનો ની દશા
The video is also being shared with the same message in Hindi, “अच्छा है कि हमारे देश में अभी तक छोटी-छोटी किराणे की दुकानें हैं। जिससे एक जगह भीड़ नहीं होती। बाकी अमेरिका के डिपार्टमेंटल स्टोर (वोलमार्ट)पर खरीदारी करने आए लोगों की हालत देखें।”
अच्छा है कि हमारे देश में अभी तक छोटी-छोटी किराणे की दुकानें हैं। जिससे एक जगह भीड़ नहीं होती।👏👏👏
बाकी अमेरिका के डिपार्टमेंटल स्टोर (वोलमार्ट)पर खरीदारी करने आए लोगों की हालत देखें।😳😳😳🥺😣😱🤦♂️ pic.twitter.com/KvvFgMh4nL
— रतन कुमार अग्रवाल (@RatanKAgrawal) April 4, 2020
Alt News has also received several requests on it official android application to fact-check this video.
With the help of digital verification tool InVid, Alt News broke the video into multiple keyframes. A Google reverse image search of one of these frames revealed that the video is at least four months old. According to the description given along with the video, it shows a group of people at a supermarket eagerly waiting for it to open for Black Friday sale.
Black Friday is known as the biggest shopping day for consumers around the world especially in the US. We then performed a reverse search on the frames extracted from the above video and found that it was shot at Lojas Americanas, a Brazilian retail chain. Alt News located another video shot from a different angle of the same incident posted on November 29, 2019.
An article published by a website called “Costa Norte”, on November 29, claimed that the incident took place at a shopping centre in Recife, Pernambuco state of Brazil. While we are unable to independently verify the exact location, it is most likely that the video is from Brazil.
In conclusion, a video from November, most likely from Brazil, is being circulated US consumers violating social distancing at supermarkets to grab essentials amid the coronavirus pandemic. However, the video shows a group of over-enthusiastic consumers eager to grab the best deals on a Black Friday sale.
Independent journalism that speaks truth to power and is free of corporate and political control is possible only when people start contributing towards the same. Please consider donating towards this endeavour to fight fake news and misinformation.