Debunking the Debunker: ‘Community Notes’ that Claimed to Debunk Donald Trump Jr.’s Post Have Been Debunked – Gruesome Video Is Authentic

On Tuesday afternoon, Donald Trump Jr. posted an extremely graphic and extremely disturbing video that shows a roomful of at least seven men who were brutally murdered.  A gunman, just in front of the cameraman, fires several rounds at a body after its arm moved slightly.  The post from Don Jr read “You don’t negotiate with this.  There’s only one way to handle this.  Video from source within Israel”

Warning: Very Graphic!

X tagged Don Jr’s post with a “Community Notes” with the claim “Video is not from the current conflict and can be traced back to 2015.”  It then posted a link to an Iranian social media site.  Several outlets and social media users criticized President Trump’s oldest son.

Screenshot: Twitter


Another user posted a screenshot showing dates as far back as 2015:

WIRED magazine “has now verified that the Community Notes system appears to be wrong.”

“WIRED has now verified that the Community Notes system appears to be wrong. According to an independent OSINT analysis published on Wednesday, the video Trump Jr. posted is real. It was recorded during Saturday’s attack and does show Hamas fighters shooting Israelis, the analysis found.

In the case of the Trump Jr. video, the Community Notes user linked to a video posted on the Iranian social media platform Wisgoon as evidence that the video was from years ago, not this past weekend. In the post, the upload date on the video is in Persian, which, when translated, reads “15 Mehr 1402,” a date in the Persian calendar. This date translates in the Gregorian calendar to October 7, 2023—the date Hamas attacked Israel.
An open source intelligence researcher tells WIRED that they confirmed the video’s veracity by tracking the original video, which was broadcast by a Gaza civilian on a Facebook livestream on Saturday morning.  
Soon after the Trump Jr. note was published, an account…tried to back up the claim about the video being fake, sharing a screenshot that showed the results of a reverse-image search for the thumbnail image of the original video. The results appear to show a series of links to Wisgoon (WARNING: GRAPHIC!) featuring the same image, all of which have dates from seven or eight years ago. However, this is because the recent video was listed in the related videos list of the older videos, not proof that it is an older video.
On Wednesday afternoon, the note on Trump’s tweet was updated to link to the tweet from the account…”
Mediaite had originally posted an article about this “note” titled “Don Jr. Goes Viral With Fake News Video of Horrific Violence, Claims It Came From ‘Source’ in Israel” but has taken it down and since issued a correction.  However, OK Magazine published an article as well, and it remains up despite the “debunking the debunker.”  In it, they write:

“…X quickly flagged the video as misleading and provided a community note that debunked the context put forth by the former President’s son.

The note stated that the footage was actually from 2015 and originated in Syria, not Israel. It also emphasized that Don Jr.’s false narrative was being used to promote “violent retribution” against Palestinian civilians.

Hassan Shibly, a prominent figure in the Muslim community, criticized him for pushing untrue narratives and endangering innocent Palestinians. Shibly argued that the video was being used to justify an escalation of Israel’s counteroffensive against Hamas.”

The rest of the article is basically posts from random users who were misled by the Community Notes, their inability to very simple self-verify the information, or just wanted it to be true because it was a Trump.

Another X account that has been previously cited by news outlets posted that the video was a 30-minute livestream on Facebook.  OSINTtechnical posted a thread in which he describes the live stream through photos.  However, towards the end, he describes the scene in Don Jr’s post but without any pictures (likely due to the graphic content).  This thread was posted hours before Don Jr’s.

While OSINTTechnical does not link to the Facebook account directly, he posted screenshots showing that the account has been suspended until next month for violating community guidelines.  The post also said the streamer was shot “but survived.”

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Thanks for sharing!