Photo falsely claimed to show French protest against vaccine mandate
Instagram posts about opposition to "mandatory vaccination" feature a photo of a large crowd in front of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. But the photo predates the Covid-19 pandemic, and was taken during anti-government protests in France in 2018.
"Protests in France against mandatory injections have been ongoing for months," says text accompanying the photo in an October 2, 2021 Instagram post.
France has made a "health pass" a part of daily life in the country, requiring people to show proof of full vaccination, a negative test, or recent recovery from infection to visit a cafe, board a plane or travel on an inter-city train.
The caption says in French that the picture was taken on the Champs-Elysees on November 28, 2018 during one of the "gilets jaunes," or "yellow vest" protests. The protest movement sprang up in the fall of that year in opposition to increases in fuel taxes announced as part of the French government's efforts to pay for clean energy initiatives.
This picture is the latest example of images AFP has found used out of context in posts lauding protests against health measures put in place to try and curb the spread of Covid-19. AFP also found the same photo was misrepresented in August 2021.