Get PolitiFact in your inbox.

Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke December 7, 2021

Old footage of Romanian protest mischaracterized as COVID-19 demonstration

If Your Time is short

  • This footage is from an anti-corruption protest in Romania in 2017, years before the first COVID-19 case was identified. 

In October, thousands of protesters in Bucharest, Romania, marched against COVID-19 restrictions, but a video that’s being shared on social media doesn’t show this particular demonstration, or any other recent ones. 

"This is how Romania does it," a tweet sharing the video says. "70% of all citizens refusing the jab and dictatorships."

The video shows a huge crowd of people at night. But it’s from a different protest predating the pandemic. 

This post 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.)

Featured Fact-check

Similar footage of the video now being shared on social media was posted on YouTube in February 2017, when the largest protests since the fall of communism in 1989 roiled Romania. Residents were demonstrating against corruption in government and efforts to decriminalize abuse in office by government officials, Time magazine reported at the time.


The precise number of protesters who demonstrated against COVID-19 restrictions in October in Romania, where vaccination rates are relatively low, is unknown. The Associated Press said "more than 5,000," while The Hill and Reuters reported "roughly 15,000" were there

But the footage now being shared online doesn’t show this event. We rate claims that it does False.


Browse the Truth-O-Meter

More by Ciara O'Rourke

Old footage of Romanian protest mischaracterized as COVID-19 demonstration

Support independent fact-checking.
Become a member!

In a world of wild talk and fake news, help us stand up for the facts.

Sign me up