A widely shared video on TikTok last month has been proven to be maliciously edited after an eagle-eyed Facebook user brought the issue to light.
Uploaded on TikTok by user @damansingh120, the video purportedly showed an Asian woman getting arrested for allegedly trying to spread COVID-19 in an Australian supermarket by spitting at some bananas. The clip was also shared on Facebook by the official page of Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko, generating over a million views.
“Agent of the devil. This lady of Chinese origin was caught on CCTV spitting on some fruits in a UK supermarket,” Sonko wrote in the caption. “She was trying to resist arrest when the police confronted her but finally got overpowered and arrested. She tested positive to covid19. Beware this could happen even here in Nairobi. Remember to wash whatever you buy from any supermarket with salt and warm water even if they are canned.”
When Facebook user Kelly Hu chanced upon the clip, she realized that the caption appears to be false, noting how the footage appeared to be stitched together as they show two different women.
Hu’s suspicions were later confirmed after the police stated that the first woman shown was arrested for causing a disturbance involving an employee at a store in Sydney. The second woman shown spitting on bananas is also obviously wearing a different outfit. The video was reportedly captured from a different store, reports News.com.au
According to Hu, she already reported Sonko’s post on Facebook which has already generated thousands of reactions, comments and shares. She also reached out directly to Sonko, urging him to correct the post but he has yet to respond, as of this writing.
In an interview with AsAm News
, Hu lamented the rise of hate crimes, noting that further misinformation about the pandemic can make the anti-Asian sentiment even worse.
“They already have the biased notion, that’s why we get so many hateful, racial attacks,” she was quoted as saying. “Without even fact checking, (they believe) we’re spreading disease, or Chinese people are the virus, Asian people are the virus.”