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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke October 5, 2020

Video shows protesters in South Africa, not bikers praying for Trump

If Your Time is short

  • A video clip being described as showing bikers praying for Trump outside of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center actually shows protesters in South Africa demonstrating against the killings of farmers.

News that President Donald Trump tested positive for COVID-19 drew prayers from supporters and political adversaries, like Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden

But a recording that pans over of a crowd of people kneeling has been mischaracterized as showing motorcyclists praying for the president outside of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where the president was admitted on Oct. 2 to treat COVID-19.

"Washington D.C - Bikers show up to The Walter Reed Hospital to pray for President Trump," one post says

It was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.) 

This video has been circulating in the United States since at least Sept. 11, when a TikTok user posted it on the social media platform. The caption doesn’t explain where the video was taken but comments acknowledge the anniversary of 9/11. 

"Never forget and God bless these riders," one person wrote. 

The same TikTok user posted the video again on Oct. 2, when Trump was admitted to the medical center, with several hashtags including #trump2020.

However, the video wasn’t even shot in the United States. It appears to show bikers protesting the killings of farmers in South Africa. In August, bikers from across the country gathered for a demonstration in Pretoria

The BBC shared another TikTok account that posted the video in the Facebook post on Aug. 29. It includes the hashtags #alllivesmatter and #stopfarmmurders. Another, similar video posted on YouTube on Aug. 31 shows people kneeling with their heads bowed under the title, "Bikers pray in Pretoria against farm murders."

We rate this Facebook post False.


Our Sources

Facebook post, Oct. 3, 2020

TikTok post, Sept. 11, 2020

The Washington Post, Tucker Carlson, those South African white rights activists aren’t telling you the whole truth, May 15, 2019

Guardian, Murders of farmers in South Africa at 20-year low, research shows, June 26, 2018

Independent Online, Thousands of bikers rally against farm murders, racism, Aug. 31, 2020

BBC, False coronavirus claims and rumours about Trump, Oct. 5, 2020

TikTok post, Aug. 29, 2020

YouTube, Bikers pray in Pretoria against farm murders, Aug. 31, 2020

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More by Ciara O'Rourke

Video shows protesters in South Africa, not bikers praying for Trump

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