A video was widely shared on social media yesterday, December 2nd, showing what was claimed to be three riot police officers using their batons to damage and break the glass of what seems to be a local's house or storefront for unspecified reasons. The video was captured by a surveillance camera.
The three individuals are Lebanese riot police officers and are assaulting private properties in Tripoli.
The General Directorate of Lebanese Internal Security Forces announced on the same day via its official Twitter account that "a video is being circulated on social media sites about riot officers breaking shop windows. After its inspection, it turned out that the video did not happen in Lebanon."
The tweet continued with a request for Lebanese social media users: "We, therefore, ask citizens not to circulate any information before it is verified."
يتم تداول فيديو عبر مواقع التواصل الاجتماعي حول قيام عناصر من مكافحة الشغب بتكسير واجهات محال، بعد المتابعة تبين ان هذا الفيديو لم يحصل في لبنان. لذلك نطلب من المواطنين عدم تداول أي معلومات قبل التأكد من صحتها. #قوى_الامن pic.twitter.com/Y1RTUg6vSx— قوى الامن الداخلي (@LebISF) December 1, 2019
In addition to that, some social media users also pointed out that the guns carried by the alleged "officers" were, in fact, paintball guns, meaning they are not even police officers, but civilian vandals.
Due to the critical stage that Lebanon is currently going through, it's extremely important, as the ISF recommended, to always verify any piece of information regarding events and news that might come our way through any form of media.
Be it TV, social media, or spoken word, take the time to analyze the piece and inspect its sources before proceeding to share it.
Sometimes a single sentence of false information can cause irreversible damage on a dangerous scale, even putting some people's lives in danger. Don't be a cause for chaos; be mindful of what you spread lest you, unknowingly and accidentally, trigger a disastrous chain of reaction.