Manipulated videos of Tuesday’s devastating explosion in Beirut are already circulating on every major social media platform. Original videos from reporters and eyewitnesses tell how the Beirut explosion really happened.
In videos originally shot by both CNN and eyewitnesses in the Lebanese capital, footage of a rising smoke cloud at Beirut Port was changed and made to look like a “negative.” In addition, a missile-like object was superimposed on the video. Also Read– Beirut Blast: Search for survivors
Some of the manipulated footage was taken from the Facebook page of Beirut-based, CNN Arabic social media producer Mehsen Mekhtfe. He had captured the explosion while walking near the port — as per his daily routine.
“Many people reached out to me to tell me that it’s fake,” Mekhtfe told CNN, referring to the fake missile video. “But it’s my video and I have the original and it doesn’t show that. When people ask me about it, I tell them, “The doctored one is not true.”
“I can emphasize that I didn’t see any missile and didn’t hear any jet or drone above me,” he added.
TikTok and Youtube respond to fake videos
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Social media companies have been contacted but only received a response from TikTok and Youtube.
“As soon as we became aware of this video it was removed for violating our policy on misleading content,” a TikTok spokesperson stated. “Prior to removal, the video had already been automatically flagged by our system, limiting its reach on our platform. Our hearts go out to the people of Beirut during this difficult time.”
“We have removed the video for violating our Community Guidelines and re-uploads of the original clip if they contain segments that we deem to be violative of YouTube’s Community Guidelines,” Farshad Shadloo, YouTube’s head of Policy Communications said in an email.
When the individual credited with creating the doctored video was contacted for comment, they responded, “someone or somebody hated me so much to put my email on a fake video.”