26 September 2023

Misleading: Video shows panic at a US county fair, not COVID-19 scare in China

According to local news reports and the police, people ran for safety after a shooting scare at a travelling carnival in Texas on Sept. 23.


On Sept. 29 a Twitter user shared a video clip showing people running and screaming in panic at what appears to be a travelling carnival.

The user claimed the ruckus happened in China after someone shouted there was a COVID-19-positive person, causing people to run as they feared being sent off to a quarantine camp.

It also claimed that panic ensued after this person’s health status on the vaccine passport turned red after a scan, a signal in China’s three-colored code system implying he or she has been infected with the novel coronavirus.

Another tweet also posted the same video with the same claim. Together, they have more than 1,821 likes and 385 retweets. The clip was viewed more than 120,000 times as of this writing.

However, this claim is false and the video was used in a misleading manner.

Annie Lab found a tweet with the same video that said the incident took place at the Fort Bend County Fair.

A screenshot of the tweet claiming the incident happened at the Fort Bend County Fair.

Using keyword search, we found another video clip posted on Sept. 25 on TikTok with a location hashtag #fortbendcountyfair.

This TikTok video is identical to the one posted on Twitter.

The video from Tiktok with hashtags #fortbendcountyfair and #shooting.

We learned that the Fort Bend County Fair is held in the city of Rosenberg in Texas in the United States.

The website of KHOU11, a local TV station in Houston, Texas, indeed featured the same carnival attractions seen in the Tiktok video.

Comparison of the Twitter video (top) and one by KHOU11 (bottom) featuring the same carnival attractions.

According to a local news report by SNBC13, people ran for safety at the county fair on Sept. 23 after a shooting scare.

The official Facebook account of the local police said on the following day that “many people ran into the parking lots,” but there was “no evidence that a shooting occurred.”

A screenshot of Rosenberg Police’s post responding to the suspected gun shooting.