Fake News of the Week: Two million march in Ottawa
This week, misinformation spread online claiming to show two million people in the streets
Each week, in a partnership with Exberliner, CORRECTIV will bring you a piece of misinformation that has been circulating online – and the corresponding fact check.
The news shared on Telegram made a dramatic claim:
Ottawa, Canada, two million people out on the streets demanding freedom!
This is what people who don’t want to become servants of globalism.
Nothing on the TV about this huge mobilisation. Once again the media is shown to have become the lying arm of the infection that has been embraced by humanity.
Accompanying this claim (which was spread on Facebook and Whatsapp) was a low resolution picture showing a vast crowd of people which filled a public square, waving flags and standing together in unity. Why, the users asked, was this vast uprising being ignored by the world media?
The explanation is simple: the picture is 30 years old, and doesn’t show Canada at all but is in fact a demonstration against the government of Mikhail Gorbachev, former leader of the Soviet Union.
It is true that Ottawa, Canada’s capital city, has seen several weeks of protests against the government’s corona regulations, but this picture does not reflect those events. Correctiv were able to identify the image using a reverse image search, which led them to a Russian article from 2011 about the collapse of the Soviet Union.
There original attribution for the image was this:
“Manezhnaya Square in Moscow was repeatedly the scene of mass rallies during perestroika, including unauthorised ones. This photo shows a rally where more than 100,000 participants demanded the resignation of Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and also opposed the use of military force by the Soviet Army against Lithuania on January 20, 1991. (Photo by Vitaly Armand | AFP | Getty Images).”