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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke December 20, 2022

Video shows migrants reacting after authorities fired tear gas

If Your Time is short

  • This video clip from 2020 shows migrants reacting after Greek authorities fired tear gas on them, according to multiple news reports. 

As people walk and run in the background, and smoke wafts through the trees, a man can be seen in a video clip holding a child over a fire, rubbing the toddler’s back while a woman next to them wails and flaps her hands by her face. The crying of others can be heard in the background. The scene is chaotic. 

But according to a 2020 Facebook post that’s getting fresh attention, it’s staged. 

"When we say fake news … there was double meaning behind, ‘the whole world is a stage,’" the caption on the post says. "This isn’t just local … this is world wide. … Illegal migrants are deliberately shaking young children in order for them to cry in front of the cameras in Greece and throughout Europe." 

Though the video is nearly three years old, it’s attracting new viewers and comments, including suggestions that the war in Ukraine is staged and that the video shows a "film set." 

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 Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)

Searching online for evidence to corroborate this claim, we found other similar allegations, also unsourced, and lots of speculation, but no evidence that the person in the video is trying to make a child cry for reporters. 

Featured Fact-check

We found plenty of evidence that the video shows people dealing with the aftermath of tear gas.

The footage was posted on YouTube by Turkish public broadcaster TRT World on March 3, 2020.  

"Greek security forces are using tear gas on refugees and migrants, including young children, in an attempt to stop them from entering the country," the caption says. 

Some people commenting on both the Facebook post and YouTube video suggested that the man was holding the child over the smoking fire to alleviate tear gas. 

Other news outlets shared similar footage in 2020 of tear gas fired by Greek authorities to try to keep migrants from crossing from Turkey into Greece. Sky News posted a clip on YouTube of a woman dabbing bottle water on the eyes of a sobbing child. 

"Migrants blasted with tear gas at Turkey, Greece border," a Feb. 29, 2020, New York Post headline said alongside a photo of people carrying children and luggage, covering their mouths. 

We rate claims that this video shows migrants faking distress for news cameras False.


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Video shows migrants reacting after authorities fired tear gas

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