Photo of massive protest in Romania posted on Facebook is four years old and ‘unrelated to Covid-19 restrictions’ despite claims

A photo of a mass protest in the Romanian capital that claims to be a demonstration against Covid-19 restrictions is four years old.

Facebook and Reuters called out the image as mislabeled.

It was unclear who the source was, but it appears aimed to undermine confidence in the government and Covid-19 restrictions introduced by the ruling Liberal Party.

There are several examples of posts making this false claim including one here, Reuters reported. This post was shared 46 times, with Facebook labeling it ‘partly false.’ The only true part of the post is that it is of a protest in Bucharest.

The image was circulating on social media nearly three years before the coronavirus that causes Covid-19 was first identified in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in January 2020.

The actual photo is came after the government of then-Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu approved an emergency decree that would have decriminalized several graft offenses prompting huge protests.

The decree, which was widely criticized in Romania and by the European Union and the U.S., sparked the largest demonstrations since the anti-communist uprising, with an estimated half a million people taking to the streets on February 5, 2017.

The photo is of that protest.

Last summer, there were protests against Covid-19 lockdown measures outside the government headquarters and elsewhere as reported by, but they were a tiny fraction of the of the size of the anti-government protests of 2017.  


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