June 15, 2020 / 7:52 PM / 20 days ago

Fact check: Staged prank among post with photographs of demonstrators with Nazi symbols

Users on social media are sharing a post that features six photographs showing demonstrators wearing swastikas. One image in the post portrays a scene from a prank video, the rest do show authentic scenes in the U.S. over the past few years.

Reuters Fact Check. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt

The post is visible here .

SECOND PHOTO FROM VIDEO OF PRANKSTER IN 2017

The photo visible here is a screengrab ( youtu.be/0-ldnkxjypA?t=52 ) from a video by Joey Saladino, prankster and former Republican candidate for Congress ( here , here ).

The video is entitled “Nazi at Trump Rally (social experiment) Are Trump Supporters Nazis? NOT Charlottesville” and was posted in March 6, 2017.

FIRST PHOTO TAKEN IN OCTOBER, 2019

The earliest iteration of the photo visible here was posted on Twitter here on October 18, 2019 by verified user Sophie Ellman-Golan, former director of communications and digital outreach at the Women’s March organization ( here ).

According to Ellman-Golan’s tweet, the photo comes from a Donald Trump rally in Dallas, Texas, on October 17, 2019 (Reuters photographs of this rally are visible here ). Other images of the rally are visible youtu.be/Kysp51nAjuY?t=46 and here . Reuters did not find any other photos or video shot during the rally that show flags with swastikas.

A similar building to the one in the photo is visible on Google Maps bit.ly/3fpo5vh .

THIRD PHOTO TAKEN IN OCTOBER, 2019

The photo visible here was actually taken on June 8, 2019. The original version is visible here .

The image portrays members of the National Socialist Movement (NSM) demonstrating against an LGBTQ event in Detroit Michigan. Other photos of that day are visible here .

The NSM is one of the largest and “most prominent neo-Nazi groups” in the U.S. according to the civil rights organization Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) here .

FOURTH PHOTO TAKEN IN APRIL, 2011

The photo visible here portrays members of the NSM during a rally in Trenton, New Jersey on April 16, 2011. The original version of the image is visible here .

According to NBC Philadelphia here , members of the NSM were allegedly protesting at the New Jersey statehouse against “illegal immigrants, crime and America’s leaders.”

FIFTH PHOTO TAKEN IN AUGUST, 2017

The photo visible here\ was taken at the Unite the Right rally, a white supremacist and neo-Nazi rally conducted in Charlottesville, VA on August 12, 2017 ( here )

The original is visible here . According to the photographer’s description, the picture portrays Alt-right members holding Nazi, Confederate Battle, Gadsden "Don't Tread on Me," League of the South, and Thor's Hammer flags.

SIXTH PHOTO TAKEN IN JUNE 2020

The photo visible here was taken recently at Lebanon, Tennessee Public Square amid the protests over the death of George Floyd ( here ).

The Lebanon Police Department also addressed the photo here and stated the protestors spreading hate messages were not locals.

According to the Anti-Defamation League here two white supremacists demonstrated next to several monuments in Tennessee on June 5th, 2020, while carrying a banner that read “Make America White Again 14/88”. According to the ADL, the two individuals claimed those monuments “had been defaced by BLM and Antifa”.

A photo visible here shows the two demonstrators at the Tennessee State Capitol, where a statue of Edward Carmack, a politician and newspaperman who supported lynching, was recently pulled down ( here ).

Another photo visible here shows them at the War Memorial Auditorium of Nashville, Tennessee ( bit.ly/3fsIyPP ).

VERDICT

Misleading. One of the photos portrays a scene from a prank video. Other photographs in post span from 2011 to present.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our work to fact-check social media posts here .

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