Conspiracy Theorists Are Spreading Fake Video Blaming Gays For COVID-19 Outbreak

A video being widely shared on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram by homophobic social media users is falsely claiming to show footage of the “last gay conference” in Italy that took place just before COVID-19 hit in an attempt to blame LGBT people for the deadly coronavirus pandemic.

“God has every right to be angry with humanity, this was the last gay conference in Italy before the virus attack,” reads the comment on a Facebook post shared more than 1,000 times since it was published on April 1. “Let’s continue to pray for His mercy to prevail over judgment, just see what is going on couple with innocent blood crying for revenge.”

The one-minute clip shows crowds of mostly men dancing while some can be seen kissing as music plays in the background.

An AFP fact-check discovered the true origins using reverse image search technology.

AFP ran a reverse image search using verification tool InVID-WeVerify and found several tweets from February 2020 claiming the video shows the Bahian Carnival, an annual festival in the Brazilian state of Bahia.

AFP fact-checkers were also able to confirm that the music playing in the video is a popular Brazilian carnival song called “Minha pequena Eva”.

Italy documented more than 175,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 23,000 deaths.

Approximately 2.3 million worldwide people have contracted the COVID-19 virus since the outbreak began late last year in China.