By: Vivek J
July 9 2023
The video claiming to show rioters looting an Apple store dates back to 2018 and is unrelated to the recent riots in 2023.
France has witnessed protests and riots at an unprecedented scale following a police officer fatally shooting a seventeen-year-old teenager in the Paris suburbs of Nanterre on June 27, 2023. Several buildings and public installations were torched by protesters, and incidents of looting were also reported from across the major cities in France.
Amid these protests, misinformation has flooded social media platforms, including unrelated videos and images of violent incidents linking them to the recent protests. One such video shared on Twitter in late June 2023 claimed to show rioters looting an Apple store in France, implying that this incident was from the recent protests. Archives of such posts can be seen here and here.
However, this video is old and unrelated to the recent violence in France.
On researching, we found recent news reports claiming that rioters targeted Apple stores in a French city. A news report citing AFP (Agence France-Presse) by France 24, dated June 30, 2023, noted that riot police were deployed to prevent incidents of looting and also carried an image of riot police guarding an Apple store in Strasbourg.
We found a video uploaded on YouTube by a local online channel from the city. It shows protesters attacking the Apple store and riot police arriving on the scene and chasing away the rioters. Several other news outlets have published similar videos. However, we did not find any recent videos similar to that of the one shared on Twitter.
As one of the social media posts specifically stated Bordeaux, we searched for instances of protesters looting an Apple store in Bordeaux. This turned up several results from an incident from 2018 during the “Yellow Vest Protests.” Named after the yellow protective vests worn by the protesters opposing the green tax (aimed at environmental protection) announced by French President Emmanuel Macron, the Yellow Vest Protests saw thousands of people taking to the streets, turning the imposition of the green tax into a political crisis.
We looked for videos of the 2018 Apple store looting incident in Bordeaux, and this returned several results showing the same video that went viral in June 2023. One such article by AppleInsider, dated December 10, 2018, noted, “Videos shared on Twitter and YouTube over the weekend show looters gaining access to the Apple Sainte-Catherine store in Bordeaux, dressed in hoodies and other concealing clothing. The thieves grabbed iPhones, iPads, and other goods kept on the display tables before leaving the store and joining the rest of the crowd outside.” The article also noted that this incident coincided with the Yellow Vest protests and that the looters took advantage of the protests to loot the store.
This article also shared the same YouTube video dated December 9, 2018, as the one circulating on Twitter. We found several such videos and news reports dating back to 2018, which confirms that the video was from Bordeaux in 2018 and not from the recent riots.
A video was shared on social media platforms on June 30, 2023, claiming that an Apple store was looted in France. Incidentally, there were news reports from the same day of rioters in France attacking an Apple store in Strasbourg. However, the video shared by social media users is from Bordeaux during the December 2018 Yellow Vest Protests and not from the recent incident. Therefore, we have marked this claim as misleading.