Fact check: Photo shows Swiss music festival, not Italian vaccine passport protest

·3 min read

The claim: Image of large crowd shows vaccine passport protests in Trieste, Italy

Protests were held across Italy in mid-October as mandates went into effect that require COVID-19 vaccinations, proof of recovery from COVID-19 infection or regular testing for both public and private sector workers.

An image showing an enormous crowd on and around a bridge began circulating on social media. Users claimed it showed protests in Trieste, Italy, where thousands of people demonstrated against the worker vaccine mandate.

One Oct. 15 tweet identifying the image as part of the vaccine protest accumulated more than 2,000 retweets in a few days, though the poster later noted that was an inaccurate description. Another tweet from Oct. 16 accusing the media of hiding the event from the public was retweeted more than 400 times in a few days.

The claim also surfaced in an Oct. 15 Facebook post that identified it as a "massive anti-vaccine protest."

USA TODAY reached out to the users for comment.

Fact check: Israel launching 'Green Pass' for citizens vaccinated against COVID-19

Image from a Swiss music festival

The photo actually shows the 2018 Street Parade music festival in Zurich. The annual festival, which bills itself as "the most colourful house and techno parade in the world," draws hundreds of thousands of attendees and features a multitude of roving sound stages, according to the event’s webpage.

Photos of the 2018 Street Parade can also be found on the website, including images very similar to the one presented as being from the Italian protests.

Google Maps shows the bridge featured in the contested photo is located in Zurich, and the Street Parade website features a Google Maps depiction of the Street Parade route, also showing the bridge.

Boom and The Associated Press also fact-checked this claim and noted the photo was misidentified.

Fact check: Image of 2017 Women's March in Los Angeles misrepresented as 2021 photo

Image has been linked to wrong events before

This image was previously fact-checked by USA TODAY in October 2020, when a social media post claimed it showed a Trump rally in Florida.

It was also fact-checked by the Australian Associated Press in August 2020, when it was wrongly presented as an image of Berlin protests against COVID-19 restrictions.

Fact Check: Photo claiming to show large Trump rally in Florida is of Swiss music festival

Our ruling: False

Based on our research, we rate FALSE the claim that an image of a large crowd shows vaccine passport protests in Trieste, Italy. The image is authentic, but it shows a Swiss music festival, not an Italian protest.

Our fact-check sources

Thank you for supporting our journalism. You can subscribe to our print edition, ad-free app or electronic newspaper replica here.

Our fact-check work is supported in part by a grant from Facebook.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: Swiss musical festival shown in photo, not vaccine protest

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting