Fact check: Digitally manipulated video claims missile led to Beirut explosion

By Ashish Bhosale  Published on  12 Aug 2020 11:49 AM GMT
Fact check: Digitally manipulated video claims missile led to Beirut explosion

Hyderabad: The massive explosion at the port of Beirut, Lebanon's capital city, on August 4, killed at least 135 people and wounded more than 5,000. Lebanese officials attributed the tragedy to the detonation of more than 2,700 tonne of a chemical commonly used in fertilisers.

The headline on Aug 5, 2020 from Veterans Today, a website with a history of publishing

antisemitic conspiracy theories and Russian propaganda reads as "Israel Hits Beirut with Nuclear Missile, Trump and Lebanese Govt. Confirm."



Soon after the incident, social media was rife with speculations about what had caused the blast. A video now claims to show a missile making an explosion in Beirut on August 4. The video is being shared on YouTube with over 30,000+ plus views, on Facebook with over 450+ shares, and Twitter with 1000+ views.

Archived claims are found here, here and here

Fact Check:

The video has been digitally manipulated. So, the claim is FALSE.

The original, unedited, footage can be seen on the CNN Arabic website. Its caption in Arabic reads as: "CNN camera detects the moment of a big explosion in the Lebanese capital Beirut".

The footage was manipulated to add a negative filter in some frames, in order to appear as a missile. The alleged projectile is not visible in a frame-by-frame analysis of the original footage. We also tested the application of a similar negative filter to the video, which again revealed no missile.

Associated Press published that the missile was fake, Hany Farid, professor at the University of California, Berkeley, who focuses on digital forensics, confirmed it to the Associated Press in an email that the missile was "obviously fake."

The doctored footage has been mostly removed from YouTube for violation of community guidelines. Many Twitter users thought it to be real.

It has been digitally altered from original footage which shows no missile. Hence, the claim is FALSE.

Claim Review:Video claims missile led to Beirut explosion
Claimed By:Social Media User
Claim Reviewed By:NewsMeter
Claim Source:Social Media
Claim Fact Check:False
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