30 September 2023
Fact checkMisleading

Misleading: Video does not show celebrations after Italian PM’s resignation

The first half of the video shows a 2021 mass protest in Rome against a vaccine pass mandate. The second half features a taxi drivers’ demonstration against a bill related to ride-hailing services.

A video clip shared on Twitter on July 15 featured two mass rallies with crowds waving banners and the Italian national flag. The tweet claimed that the video shows a celebration of the resignation of Prime Minister Mario Draghi.

As of this writing, the tweet has over 1,700 likes and 860 retweets. A  similar video with the same claim was also shared by other Twitter users in many languages such as Chinese, Dutch, Spanish, French, Turkish and Polish. This video was posted on Reddit as well.

However, the claim is misleading.

The first half of the video was filmed in October 2021. It shows around 10,000 people in Rome who were protesting against the “Green Pass” Covid-19 vaccine mandate in all workplaces, according to Italian news outlets (here and here).

News photos taken by AFP (here and here) and a video posted on YouTube also show the same event. Annie Lab geolocated the buildings in the background and we can confirm the location of the protest to be Piazza del Popolo in Rome.

Comparison of the news images with the video in the misleading tweet. The “NO GREEN PASS” banner is visible in the Twitter video as well.
Google Street View shows identical buildings seen in the video in question.

The mass demonstration took place there on Oct. 9, 2021, after the government announced the Green Pass would become mandatory from Oct. 15, making it the strictest vaccine mandate in Europe at the time. Reportedly, the protest later turned violent.

The second half of the video displays a recent demonstration by taxi drivers in Italy against a bill that is deemed to bring more competition from ride-hailing services such as Uber.

Local media say taxi drivers from all over the country have been holding demonstrations since the first week of July, primarily in front of Palazzo Chigi, or the Chigi Palace, where the Prime Minister’s office and the official residence are housed.

YouTube videos uploaded on July 13 (here and here), as well as a news photo by the Associated Press, show the protest there on the same day. The objects in those videos and the news image match the content of the misleading tweet’s video.

Objects seen in the video in question match the news photo and footage taken at the taxi driver’s rally on July 13.

Draghi initially attempted to resign from his role as the prime minister on July 14 but President Sergio Mattarella rejected it. His resignation came a week later on July 21 after key parties in the coalition government did not support him in a confidence vote.

Subsequently, Mattarella dissolved the parliament, and Italy is expected to have a snap election in September.

The video in the tweet has also been fact-checked by Reuters Fact Check (also here).