Fact Check: Antifa Protestors Did NOT Burn A Cross In Portland

Fact Check

  • by: Sarah Thompson
Fact Check: Antifa Protestors Did NOT Burn A Cross In Portland Photoshopped

Did Antifa protesters in Portland, Oregon, burn a cross on August 1, 2020? No, that's not true: A still frame taken from a video of a flag burning was photoshopped to look like a burning cross.

This post (archived here) was published on Facebook on August 2, 2020, and captioned:

Portland, OR. Look at ANTIFA burning crosses like how the Klan used to do to blacks

This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:

Facebook screenshot

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Thu Aug 6 22:15:12 2020 UTC)

This burning cross image was produced with a minimal amount of effort and a photo editing program. The burning effect is a brush mode called "color dodge" in combination with a yellow color. There was no attempt to render flames, the overlapping strokes of a round brush tool are clearly visible in the shape of the cross.


The flag-burning video which this still frame was pulled from was posted by the Twitter account Kalen From Scriberr (here)(archived here) on August 1, 2020.

The hasty photo manipulation that added the cross shape to the flames has been used in several different memes falsely claiming a cross-burning in Portland (or Seattle). Below are three examples. The text of the memes read:

1. The Klan is in Seattle!! Wait, that's just Antifa and BLM burning a cross. Now where's the irony in that?

2. Democrats in the past [Klan photo] Democrats literally right now. Tonight in Portland [photoshop cross burning]

3. Giving Honor to their founders in the KKK, the Democrat-organized Antifa group burn a cross in Portland, a subliminal gesture of solidarity to their political forebears.


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  Sarah Thompson

Sarah Thompson lives with her family and pets on a small farm in Indiana. She founded a Facebook page and a blog called “Exploiting the Niche” in 2017 to help others learn about manipulative tactics and avoid scams on social media. Since then she has collaborated with journalists in the USA, Canada and Australia and since December 2019 she works as a Social Media Authenticity Analyst at Lead Stories.


Read more about or contact Sarah Thompson

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