Shortly after the news of NBA great Kobe Bryant dying in a helicopter crash in California on January 26, 2019, videos began to circulate claiming to show the moment of the crash. The dramatic video is still visible on some platforms (now deleted on other platforms) shows a helicopter spiraling into some hills and bursting into flames. Here is some of Reuters’ coverage of the accident.
English audio can be heard, and the hills are not too unlike those in California. However, the video is very low quality and appears to be zoomed in. That is because the video is a scrape. The video circulating is a cropped version of this helicopter crash, that happened in Jebel Jais in Ras Al Khaimah, UAE in December 2018.
The video is therefore false, it is an old video cropped and wrongly titled footage of Kobe Bryant’s fatal crash.
At 2243 GMT on Jan 7, Reuters published this tweet which stated that a US official claimed rockets had been fired at al-Asad airbase in Iraq. Searches on Instagram soon afterwards led us to a source who had posted a series of video clips on Instagram stories said to show the falling missiles. For security reasons, we are withholding the details of this account. Audio could be heard over the clips, the speech identifiable as saying: “Ain al-Asad base is being struck.” These videos were posted on Instagram within an hour of the Reuters snap. The source gave the time of filming as 0120 local (2220 GMT). No earlier versions of these clips could be located online.
The source told Reuters the position of filming was 2km from the al-Asad air base. In the video, 7 seconds elapse between the white flash of the missile landing and the first audible explosion captured by the videographer. This is consistent with the gap expected at such a distance between a visible occurrence and its associated sound, due to differences in the speed of travel. The name of the base is mentioned several times in the narration to the video, and there is nothing to suggest it has been added in post-production.
The source provided Reuters with full-resolution source files, which removed the filter added to them in Instagram. The videos were consistent in quality, resolution and vantage point. Meanwhile, later Reuters reports quoted US authorities, who said 11 of them hit al-Asad. We therefore conclude that the videos supplied to Reuters show this attack taking place.
A video showing efforts to contain a fuel spill in the Galapagos Islands was posted to a Facebook group here.
On December 22, 2019 the verified Twitter account @parquegalapagos tweeted that a barge named Orca had sunk, with 600 gallons of diesel on board. Barriers and absorbent pads were being placed to reduce the risk of environmental damage, it added.
Three pictures of the scene accompanied the text. In one of the pictures, a container ship can be seen in the background, and the same craft can be seen in a few frames of the Facebook video:
The user who posted the video to Facebook told Reuters that he worked on a boat, and had seen the scene unfold, so started filming.
The @parquegalapagos tweet gives the location as #SanCristobal – or San Cristobal island. The Twitter account @ECU911Galapago, which has previously had tweets retweeted by the verified @911ECU_ emergency services account, implying that it is authentic, posted a security camera image of the scene, which identifies the precise location as “MUELLE PEDRIAL“ or the La Pedrial dock.
As well as the information provided by the national park, the Ecuadorian environment minister Raúl Ledesma Huerta retweeted the @parquegalapagos tweet and added that immediate action would be taken to reduce the risk to the environment. The environmental group SOS Galapagos tweeted that it wished to see the fuel logistics operation moved to another site.
A video circulating on social media claimed to show police firing at protesters around New Delhi’s Jamia Millia University during protests in December 2019.
A video shared online showed women forming a human shield around their friend in an effort to prevent him from being beaten by police in New Delhi amidst protests in the Indian city.
The source of the video reports the location of filming as Mata Mandir road, New Friends Colony, New Delhi. This tallies with other videos of protesters posted on this date, such as this one – which is said to show the same street.
One of the women who appears in the video described the incident in depth to Reuters. She explained she was concerned about protecting her female friend, who had breathing difficulties, and her male friend, who was trying to provide medical assistance, at the time the police attacked. This article in India Today provides a response from the police regarding the wider day’s protesting. The Delhi Police Public Relations Officer MS Randhawa, is quoted as saying the force used "maximum restraint, minimum force" despite being "provoked" by protesters.
A video posted by an Instagram user (his Instagram stories have now expired) showed loud shots during shooting in Jersey City, New Jersey. Videos sent as attachments, inserted below.
A video showing the London Bridge knife attacker being apprehended by members of the public was posted to Twitter here.
Reuters spoke to the users of the account that posted the video. They shared a screenshot of their camera roll, where the video file had a timestamp of 14:01. This is consistent with the timing reported by Reuters.