Social Media Rumours About The Paris Attacks That You Shouldn’t Believe

Hoaxes and bad information are circulating online in the aftermath of the Paris attacks.

1. The attacks were not predicted by a post on the French site JeuxVideo – this screenshot is a fake.

The screenshot, which circulated in the aftermath of the attacks, supposedly shows a post from 5 November predicting attacks that would kill more than 100 people in Paris in “a few days”, but – as BuzzFeed France reported – the screenshot had been altered. The actual post says nothing about any attacks:

2. The Eiffel Tower did not go dark in memory of the victims.

The Sky News video that was widely shared of the Eiffel Tower’s lights being switched off was actually from January, in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo attacks.

Instagram / Via vine.co

Additionally, the Eiffel Tower’s lights are turned off at 1am each night anyway:

3. This picture, said to be of the concert in the Bataclan shortly before the attack, doesn’t show that.

#Paris. The horror. Photo inside the Bataclan before the shooting. :(

— The Power Of One. (@france7776)

It does show the Eagles of Death Metal, the band who were playing the Bataclan, but it’s not from Friday night – it’s from their gig in Dublin on 10 November, as France Info has pointed out.

4. Fire did break out in the “Jungle” migrant camp in Calais, but it is not clear that it was a revenge attack.

Twitter

The causes of the fire at the migrant camp in Calais are currently undetermined – “the details are sketchy at the moment”, one aid worker told BuzzFeed News. There is currently no evidence to support the rumours that it was an arson attack in revenge for events in Paris; it was not the first fire to break out in the camp in recent months.

In the light of day the damage is clear. This is all that is left after the #Calaisjungle fire.

— Calais Solidarity (@calaisolidarity)

5. This picture doesn’t show a march in Germany expressing solidarity with the French – it’s from an anti-immigration event in January.

Now: Germans take to the streets chanting "Germany Stands With You France" #Paris #PrayForParis #fusillade

— djvjgrrl (@djvjgrrl)

It actually shows a march in Dresden by the German anti-Islam group Pegida.

6. Pictures have circulated online claiming to identify the social media accounts of some of the terrorists, but authorities have not yet released any identities.

Twitter

French authorities have yet to release the identities of any of the attackers, so it is impossible to verify whether the images are accurate. In the aftermath of previous attacks, innocent people have regularly been identified as terrorists both on social media and in the press.

7. Donald Trump’s tweet about French gun control laws was from January, not in response to the current attacks.

Isn’t it interesting that the tragedy in Paris took place in one of the toughest gun control countries in the world?

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump)

The would-be Republican presidential candidate has been widely criticised for this tweet by people who believed it was an insensitive response to Friday’s attacks. However, it was actually Trump’s response to the Charlie Hebdo attack in January (it was criticised for being insensitive then too).

The French ambassador to the United States was one of those who criticised Trump, in a now-deleted tweet.

Twitter / Via mediaite.com

This was Trump’s tweeted response to the current attacks.

My prayers are with the victims and hostages in the horrible Paris attacks. May God be with you all.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump)

8. This widely shared image of the Eiffel Tower combined with the peace sign is not by Banksy.

Peace for Paris

— banksy (@thereaIbanksy)

The “Banksy” Twitter account is a hoax account (or “fan account”, as its bio says) that regularly reposts other artists’ work without credit. The Eiffel Tower image was actually created by Jean Jullien:

Peace for Paris

— jean jullien (@jean_jullien)

9. The Empire State Building didn’t change its colours.

The Empire State Building is currently lit up with the colors of the French flag. #PrayForParis

— Laura (@5sose31d)

Multiple tweets claimed that the Empire State Building in New York was lit in the colours of the French flag on Friday night. In reality the pictures were from January, when the colours were changed in solidarity with the attack on the Charlie Hebdo offices.

This time the lights were turned off completely.

In the wake of the tragedy in Paris, The #EmpireStateBuilding went dark at 10:00 PM/ET on Friday, November 13, 2015, in sympathy for Paris.

— Empire State Bldg (@EmpireStateBldg)

10. This image of deserted Paris is actually from a 2008 art project.

On dirait Paris est plonger en plein dans un épisode de Walking Dead 😢

— Salim (@Nexlizz)

This image of Place de la Concorde in central Paris is actually from 2008 and is part of an art project called “Silent Witness” which imagines city centres at the end of the world by using long exposure photography.

11. This image of Parisians taking to the streets is from the aftermath of January’s Charlie Hebdo attacks.

Paris right now... Truly remarkable #NotAfraid

— joanna *♡ೃ༄ (@stylinfunk)

Unlike in January, Parisian officials are discouraging large public gatherings and vigils.

12. Uber did not hike its taxi fares during the attacks.

I personally find this disgusting, Uber charge over 5X their usual rates in Paris last night Taxi drivers provide people with free travel.

— Jamie (@Jamie__Spurs)

Uber’s surge pricing system is designed to increase taxi fares at times of high demand. During the 2014 terrorist attack on Sydney the company boasted it was increasing prices in order to bring more drivers on to the streets, prompting accusations of profiteering.

However, there is no evidence that Uber increased its fares during Friday night’s attacks in Paris. The company insists it suspended all surge pricing and kept its service running.

@FreeSpeakTweet @TIME @jguynn this is false: no suspension of the service & no surge pricing.

— Uber France (@UberFR)

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Tom Phillips is the UK editorial director for BuzzFeed and is based in London.
Contact Tom Phillips at tom.phillips@buzzfeed.com.
Adrien Sénécat est journaliste chez BuzzFeed News France et travaille depuis Paris.
Contact Adrien Sénécat at adrien.senecat@buzzfeed.com.
Jim Waterson is a politics editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
Contact Jim Waterson at jim.waterson@buzzfeed.com.