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#Teachers: You can use this false tweet that went viral last week (apparently as a joke, though it tricked lots of people) to challenge your students' digital verification skills. How? Lemme show you.
The tweet used a video clip of Malaysian military personnel putting up a razor wire barrier near Kuala Lumpur to falsely claim (apparently as a joke) that British soldiers were preparing for an "anti 5G and Lockdown and pro-Brexit protest from patriots" in London.
But as often happens, many people took it seriously and amplified the claim.

The tweet has since been deleted, but you can find an archived version of it here:

And here's the same video clip used in the tweet on YouTube:
And here's a screencast of the original tweet, which again is FALSE FALSE FALSE:
Background: The video shows Malaysian soldiers cordoning off an area in Selayang Baru, a township north of the capital Kuala Lumpur, on April 25--due to an outbreak of COVID-19 there.
Here's how you can use it with students:

1. Show them the archived tweet and ask them to watch the video clip, carefully noting any details that could give them a clue about its location. Could this really be London?
While there are lots of clues this might not be London (including the style of military uniform and the language on the signs) none of those things *proves* it's not London. But there's one detail at the very end of the clip that does rule out London: mountains.
If the tweet were still live, you could search for the source of this clip by using @InVID_EU's toolkit to search for keyframes (video stills, basically) using the tweet's URL. Or reverse search a simple screenshot.
But since it's not still live (a good thing!), you'll have to take another approach: more observation of details in the video. Like the Sweetly Cake House bakery that's clearly visible in the background at the beginning. A quick search for that shows two locations in Malaysia:
Clicking on the first one brings up a photo that matches the store in the video. You've found it:
This is proof enough, but let's just make it incontrovertible by going to that location in Selayang Baru using Google Street View:
And there you have it. Activities like these not only empower students with key digital verification skills, they can also act as a "side door" to current events (So why is there a lockdown in Selayang Baru, anyway? Is it still going on?).
They can also spark critical #newsliteracy discussions: Is it unethical to post "jokes" like this? Should platforms develop a font/tag for satire/parody? What might the consequences be if people believed the original (false) tweet? Whose fault is it if people think it's legit?
If you're interested in these kinds of verification skills and multi-part challenges, check out @NewsLitProject's Check Center -- part of our @Checkology virtual classroom. We've dropped our paywall for the remainder of the year. Learn more here:
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