Photo Claiming To Show Climate Strike Rubbish Deleted From Facebook After Fake News Reports
Facebook has removed photos of a trashed park, falsely claiming to show rubbish left behind after Australian climate strike protests, after they were found to be from a totally different rally.
Photos of trash strewn across a park have been circulating on social media since over 80,000 people gathered at the Domain in Sydney on Friday, as part of global climate protests.
Several Facebook pages and users, including a page called 'Australian Youth Coal Coalition', posted the photo over the weekend, claiming the rubbish was left behind by Sydney protesters.
"Look at the mess today's climate protesters left behind in beautiful Hyde Park. So much plastic. So much landfill," the page, which has just under 5,000 followers, wrote.
The group shared a second post, claiming "a group of young coal supporters volunteered to do a big clean up".
Both posts have since been taken down -- but not before the original post was shared over 12,000 times. One Facebook user who shared the post wrote "this picture says it all".
But it doesn't. The photo is not from Sydney's climate rally -- which took place in the nearby Domain --- nor London's rally, which was held outside the Houses of Parliament. It shows the aftermath of an event in London's Hyde Park in April, from a pro-marijuana rally that was unrelated to any climate protests.
A fact-check tweet from Australian Twitter user Matt Burke has since racked up more than 15,000 retweets.
At the time, many social media users claimed the trash had been left behind after a climate change rally held by the group, 'Extinction Rebellion'.
But according to fact-checking website Snopes, the rubbish was the result of a marijuana event that was held nearby on the same day as the XR rally.
Snopes said the confusion stemmed in part from a post by the Facebook page THTC (The Hemp Trading Company), which first shared the image.
The Facebook page later updated the post, clarifying who was responsible for the rubbish -- and who helped to clean it up.
"A lot of people are misreading this post. This was the aftermath of Hyde Park 420 -- and was *cleaned up* by Extinction Rebellion crew," the page wrote.
Extinction Rebellion also posted a similar statement on Twitter, as did the official account for London's 'Royal Parks'.
Countless other social media users called out the photos as not being from the Sydney climate strike, with many people reporting the photos as false and misleading. The posts have since disappeared from the Australian Youth Coal Coalition page.
The page later shared a screenshot of a message from Facebook, indicating a breach of Facebook standards, with the caption, "lmao who was this?"
10 daily has contacted the page for comment.
Featured image: Facebook via THC - The Hemp Trading Company