Fact Check: Photo Does NOT Show Retired Marine Setting Fire To Antifa Activist's Car -- Picture Is At Least Seven Years Old

Fact Check

  • by: Arthur Brice
Fact Check: Photo Does NOT Show Retired Marine Setting Fire To Antifa Activist's Car -- Picture Is At Least Seven Years Old Old Photo

Does a photo show a retired Marine who followed an Antifa protestor back to the activist's house and set his car on fire? No, that's not true: The viral posting comes from an unrelated meme from at least 2013 often used in humorous postings to show daily events that go wrong in life.

The claim appeared in from a post (archived here) published on Facebook on September 20, 2020. It opened:

Carl doesn't like Antifa cause they set things on fire, so Carl followed one back to where he lived & set fire to HIS stuff. This is Carl. Carl is a retired Marine. Marines don't give a s**t.

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

Facebook screenshot

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Mon Sep 28 16:26:32 2020 UTC)

A Facebook posting that purports to show a former Marine standing in front of an antifa activist's car that he has set on fire is not only false, but USA Today says the photo has been making the rounds on social media since at least November 2013.

Politifact also has debunked the Facebook post, saying the meme has been around for at least 7 years.

The photo has appeared in several nonpolitical memes, such as one from October 2018 that shows the man in the photo smiling while the caption reads: "When everything is going wrong in your life but you're used to it."

A meme from 2019 uses the photo as an analogy a pizza burning in the oven while the man is stoned, listening to music and oblivious to the blaze.

Antifa is short for antifascist, a protest movement characterized by strong opposition to extreme right-wing ideology.

The Anti-Defamation League, more commonly known as the ADL, notes that antifa became newly prominent after the white supremacist Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, VA, in August 2017.

In Charlottesville and at many subsequent events held by white supremacists or right-wing extremists, antifa activists have aggressively confronted what they believe to be authoritarian movements and groups. While most counter-protestors tend to be peaceful, there have been several instances where encounters between antifa and the far-right have turned violent.

Want to inform others about the accuracy of this story?

See who is sharing it (it might even be your friends...) and leave the link in the comments.:


  Arthur Brice

Arthur Brice is a fact checker at Lead Stories. He has been a journalist for more than 40 years, nearly 30 of them in newspapers. Brice was a national desk editor and reporter at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution for nearly 20 years. Previously, he was political editor at The Tampa Tribune and also worked for three other Florida newspapers. He spent 11 Years as an executive editor and executive producer at CNN. 

Read more about or contact Arthur Brice

About us

International Fact-Checking Organization

Lead Stories is a fact checking website that is always looking for the latest false, deceptive or inaccurate stories (or media) making the rounds on the internet.
Spotted something? Let us know!.

Lead Stories is a:


Follow us on social media

Most Read

Most Recent

Share your opinion