A video of a group of people sitting in the middle of the road with safety jackets on and being dragged away by some angry individuals is going viral on social media as visuals from France where Muslims apparently blocked vehicular traffic to offer namaz on the streets.

Madhu Purnima Kishwar tweeted the video and wrote “People are getting down from their cars& clearing roads occupied by the Namazis.” It is evident that the target of her post was Muslims. However, instead of using the word Muslim, she used an ‘algospeak’: MuzzBees. An algospeak is a word or phrase that is used in place of some other word or phrase, to avoid getting flagged/removed by content moderation systems on digital platforms.

She later deleted the tweet but not before it was retweeted over 230 times. (Archive)

Another user, called Meera Nair, shared the video and wrote, “In France …people coming out of their cars to clear the road of Namazis who have blocked traffic.”

A user called ‘Bhim’ also shared the video with similar captions.

Fact Check

We broke down the video into key-frames and performed a Google reverse image search, which led us to a news report by Express. As per this report, the viral video is of climate activists who had brought traffic to a standstill on the Levallois bridge in Levallois-Perret, Paris.

Additionally, we performed a keyword search in French and came across a news article by an outlet called Midi Libre. As per this report, the protest happened on November 26 when the protesters blocked the Pont de Saint-Clou (Saint Clou bridge) to challenge the government on its energy renovation plan. It also mentions that these protesters were later taken into police custody.

We also verified the location of the clip and found it to be the Saint Clou bridge.

Alt News also came across a tweet from November 26 by journalist Clément Lanot. He tagged the group Dernière Rénovation in his tweet, which allegedly organized the protests.

To sum it up, a video from a protest organised by climate activists was falsely shared as Muslims blocking traffic in France to offer namaz. Back in June, a video of an altercation between security personnel and an individual outside the BoxPark restaurant was falsely shared as a Muslim thrown out of Wembley Stadium for forcefully trying to pray inside the stadium.

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About the Author

Kalim is a journalist with a keen interest in tech, misinformation, culture, etc