(Editor's note: this article is first published by Annie Lab, a fact-checking project by Journalism and Media Studies Centre of the University of Hong Kong and Asian Network of News and Information Educators (ANNIE), and written by Purple Romero)
A video posted on Nov. 5 on Twitter claims to show mail-in votes for US President Donald Trump being thrown into a landfill by Democrats.
The video has at least 105,000 views and has been retweeted more than a thousand times. It shows what appears to be parcels being tossed out from container trucks.
The accompanying text reads:
“I found all the missing trump votes the Democrats stole. #landfill #election2020 #trumpismypresident #fyp #voting2020 #trash #secret”
Names of states like Michigan, Nevada, Wisconsin and Arizona also appeared on the video and were put above the container trucks, implying that votes from the five states were dumped together at this location
The tweet in question is written in simplified Chinese. It says, when translated to English: “Is it real? To destroy in one place!”
The claim is false. An image search of the screenshot of the video led to this November 2016 article about the disposal of some 80,000 packs of expired chicken by the Secretariat of al-Qassim region in Saudi Arabia.
Further search on the topic led to this 2016 broadcast report on the official YouTube channel of برنامج ياهل, or YaHala program, about discarding expired chicken.
Below is a comparison of the video report and a screenshot of the misleading video in the tweet — both show a white container truck with a colorful image on its side and a man donned in dark clothes standing nearby.
Annie Lab found that the same video was also used in misleading claims about the French dumping Arabic goods in the desert.
Reuters also has debunked this claim, with the video posted by another Twitter account.
Michigan, Nevada, Arizona, Wisconsin and Arizona are key battleground states for Trump, who is gunning for re-election and Democratic contender Joe Biden. One of them has to clinch 270 electoral votes to win the 2020 US presidential elections.
A historically high number of Americans cast their vote by mail amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Disclaimer: Although faculty members at the Journalism and Media Studies Centre at the University of Hong Kong have done everything possible to verify its accuracy, we cannot guarantee there are no mistakes. If you notice an error or have any questions, please email us at [email protected]