VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Video shows suicide incident in France, NOT ‘zombie virus’ in US

April 15, 2023

A reel making the rounds on Facebook (FB) supposedly shows a throng of people rushing outside a building in the United States (U.S.) in an attempt to escape a “zombie virus” plague. This is not true.

From April 4 to 7, several copies of the same short video were published by netizens and an FB page. One of the videos bore the following superimposed false text: “Totoo ba? (Is it real?) ZOMBI virusi (sic) USA”

The 43-second video showed a first-person perspective shot of an unidentified person scrambling to exit a building, running away from something not caught on camera.

This video does not actually feature a real-life zombie infection incident. It was also not taken in the U.S.

Originally published by a TikTok user on Feb. 19, the short reel was in fact taken in Paris, France. It carried the caption: “Gros mouvement de foule à La Défense (Massive crowd movement at La Défense)”

A day before the TikTok  video was published, several French media organizations reported about a mall incident in the La Défense district of Paris where a person committed suicide by jumping from the building.

A loud noise as the person hit the ground caused people nearby to panic and run, thinking it was a gunshot.

The video with the spurious claim about a zombie virus was published as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a health alert warning about two confirmed outbreaks of the Marburg virus disease in Equatorial Guinea and Tanzania.

Two FB netizens have published the video, collectively garnering over 6,200 reactions, 1,960 comments, 2,000 shares and 1.1 million views. FB page Life Revamps (created on Feb. 23, 2023) also posted the video which was watched more than 2,000 times.

Have you seen any dubious claims, photos, memes, or online posts that you want us to verify? Fill out this reader request form or send it to ‘VERA, the truth bot’ on Viber.

(Editor’s Note: VERA Files has partnered with Facebook to fight the spread of disinformation. Find out more about this partnership and our methodology.)

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VERA Files

VERA Files is a nonstock, nonprofit, independent media organization. Founded in March 2008, it is published by veteran Filipino journalists taking a deeper look into current Philippine issues. Vera is Latin for “true.”

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