The video actually shows a Russian social media personality burning his luxury German-made car
A video has been viewed tens of thousands of times on Facebook and Twitter alongside a claim that it shows a young man setting fire to his French-made luxury car in response to French President Emmanuel Macron’s defense of the Prophet Muhammad’s cartoon. The claim is false; the clip actually shows a Russian social media personality burning his Mercedes-Benz car; Russian media reports say he destroyed his luxury German car because it kept breaking down.
The video was posted on Facebook here on November 2, 2020, where it has been viewed more than 250 times.
The caption says: “Paying his deep love to Islam and the Prophet, this young man burned his beloved car because the car was made by France, which has insulted the Prophet.”
Muslims around the world have protested and called for boycotts of French products after French President Emmanuel Macron defended the publication of Prophet Muhammad’s cartoon, AFP reported here on October 25, 2020.
The claim, however, is false.
AFP investigation using keyframes obtained from digital verification tool InVid-WeVerify found that the video was posted on October 24, 2020, on the verified YouTube channel of Russian social media personality Mikhail Litvin here.
The Russian-language post translates to English as: “I thought for a long time what to do with my Shark after the conflict with the Mercedes company. In my opinion, the idea is FIRE. And that’s all. The end... I’m not at all f---ing happy.”
At the end, the video shows a Russian-language text that reads: “And all I asked for was that my Sharkie be repaired...”
Below is a screenshot comparison of the video in the misleading post (L) and the YouTube video (R):
Below is a screenshot of the YouTube video, which shows the car’s make and model:
Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported on October 24, 2020, that Litvin burnt the car because it kept breaking down, and because of this, he had a conflict with a Mercedes-Benz dealership.