A young man scored a massive video hit on Facebook by taking old footage from YouTube and claiming it shows devastation from Hurricane Irma. His video has been viewed more than 19 million times:
The footage he used has actually been online for more than a year, and most video captions claim that it shows a tornado hitting Uruguay in 2016. What's absolutely for certain is that it is not footage of Hurricane Irma.
Some of the most recent comments on the YouTube video are from people who found it as a result of trying to figure out if Duran's viral Facebook video was real. "Shoutout to everyone who found the 'Irma' video," reads one comment.
Duran isn't the only person to claim that this old footage is from the storm. A Twitter user garnered thousands of retweets and likes for a tweet that falsely claimed the footage shows Irma hitting Barbados.
The footage also fooled a meteorologist/traffic reporter with a TV station in Georgia. Jamie Erle saw Duran's video on Facebook and reposted it to her verified Facebook profile. She later updated her post to apologize. "I fell for it. This is NOT IRMA. This is old video. My sincerest apologies."
Craig Silverman is Media Editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Toronto.
Contact Craig Silverman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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