Viral video of boat on flooded road outside Lucknow railway station is edited

By: Prabhanu Das
July 8 2024

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Viral video of boat on flooded road outside Lucknow railway station is edited

Screenshots of viral posts with a video claiming that a boat was used on waterlogged streets outside Charbagh railway station in Lucknow. (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)

Fact-Check

The Verdict Fake

While the rest of the video is authentic, the boat has been digitally inserted, possibly using artificial intelligence.

Claim ID 396772d0

What’s the claim?

Viral posts on X (formerly Twitter) and Facebook have shared a video purportedly showing a boat being used to navigate flooded roads outside the Charbagh railway station in Lucknow. The footage emerged during a period of heavy rainfall in Uttar Pradesh and other parts of northern India in early July, which caused significant waterlogging in Lucknow, the state capital.

Posts on Facebook and Twitter claiming that a boat was used on submerged roads outside Charbagh railway station. (Source: Facebook/X/Modified by Logically Facts)

These posts, garnering up to 300,000 views on X and 9.8 million views on Facebook and Instagram (as of July 8, 2024), have been shared with captions criticizing the "double-engine" government (at the Centre and state) for inadequate drainage infrastructure. Some posts sarcastically compare the city to Venice. Archived links to the posts can be found here, here, and here.

The video and the claim have been uploaded by multiple users across Facebook, X, and Instagram. (Source: Facebook)

However, our investigation reveals that the video has been manipulated to support a false claim. The original footage confirms that no boat was present, and the image of a boat has been superimposed onto the video of the flooded roads outside the station.

What we found

A reverse image search led us to the original video, which is part of a 23-second montage of waterlogged streets in Lucknow, uploaded on YouTube (archived here) and Instagram (archived here). The segment showing the roads outside the Charbagh railway station appears at the 0:13 mark in this video; crucially, it does not feature any boat.

A comparison of the viral video with the original video. (Source: X/Instagram/Modified by Logically Facts)

Close examination of the video revealed several discrepancies between the viral version and the original, suggesting the clip was edited using Artificial Intelligence (AI). The original video shows two auto-rickshaws on the road, while the edited version displays one auto-rickshaw and a black, distorted object resembling a vehicle.

Such distortions are characteristic of AI-generated visuals. Additionally, while the rest of the video and the original footage show moving vehicles on the road, no movement is visible in the background of the section featuring the boat in the viral video.

The black distorted vehicle in the background of the edited video. (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)

We also analyzed the video using Itisaar, a deepfake detection tool developed by IIT Jodhpur and verified by Mayank Vatsa, a professor at the Department of Computer Science & Engineering, IIT Jodhpur. The tool categorized the video as fake, specifying that while it is not a deepfake, the boat has been added, and the frames have been altered.

The verdict

The viral video is edited. While the footage of rain-filled streets outside the railway station is authentic, it has been manipulated to include a boat supposedly traversing the submerged roads.

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