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Hoax Alert

Fake News: Video Does NOT Show Man Burning After Phone Connected To Power Bank Explodes, NOT In Dubai Mall

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Fri, 08 Jun 2018 11:24:57 Z)

Does a video being shared around on social media show a man on fire in a shopping center because his phone exploded in his pocket while connected to a power bank? No, that's not true. The man is really on fire but according to news reports he did it to himself with a flammable liquid and it happened in Agadir, Morocco.

An example of the video being shared with a wrong caption is this post published on June 6, 2018 on a Facebook page "Catholics Online" (archived here) which had the video captioned as:

Phone connected to Power bank inside the pocket exploded and this happens.... Please be careful. Share to save a life

Screenshot of https://www.facebook.com/CatholicsOnline/videos/1642453859185471/

Here's an example of the video on YouTube (archived here):

However, a site named Morocco World News claims it happened in Agadir and that it was self-inflicted:

Would-be Shoplifter Sets Himself on Fire in Agadir Supermarket

Rabat - The scene shocked Marjane shoppers in Agadir. According to local media outlets, a 30-year-old man set himself on fire at the main entrance of the supermarket Sunday, June 3, to the cries of others nearby. The 59-second footage of his act, taken by a customer, has circulated on social media, causing uproar among citizens.

We analyzed the video and to us it seems clear that the size of the flames is much bigger than one would expect from a smoldering phone in a pocket.

We also spotted two logo's in the video: something that looks like an "M" with a yellow circle and the word "Diamantine".

marketlogo.jpgdiamantinelogo.jpg

We looked up "Diamantine" in Agadir on Google Maps and we found a branch was in the same building as a supermarked named "Marjane":

diamantinemap.jpg

Which happens to have a logo that consists of an "M" with a yellow circle:

Accueil | Marjane : Plus grande offre promotion maroc dans la grande distribution

Electromenager, TV, produits d'alimentation... découvrez toutes les promotions de votre magasin Marjane.

So it definitely looks like the "Agadir" version of the story is the correct one, also because Dubai police have put out notice it didn't happen over there:

Dubai Police Have Confirmed This Shocking Video Of A Man On Fire DID NOT Happen In Dubai Mall

A reminder to everyone not to spread unverified news If you spotted this video doing the rounds on WhatsApp over the last few days, you weren't the only one who was genuinely shocked. The video shows a man, engulfed by flames, trying to remove his clothes while people frantically rush around him trying to help.

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About the author:

Maarten Schenk is our resident expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk
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