Fact Check: 'The Big Payback' Meme Uses Old Photo From Los Angeles 2017 Women's March -- Not January 6, 2021, In DC

Fact Check

  • by: Alan Duke
Fact Check: 'The Big Payback' Meme Uses Old Photo From Los Angeles 2017 Women's March -- Not January 6, 2021, In DC Women In 2017

Does a meme showing thousands of people packed into a street intersection depict a January 2021 "Big Payback" rally in Washington, D.C.? No, that's not true: The image used in the meme shows a January 21, 2017, women's anti-Trump march in Los Angeles.

The meme appeared in from a post (archived here) shared on Facebook on January 5, 2021, under the title "DC Just shut the Electric Off to the Rally! No Lights, Mic Nothing! Unbelieveable!!!" The caption above the misused photo read:

Get Ready For The Big Payback. January 6, 2021

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

Facebook screenshot

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Wed Jan 6 17:42:13 2021 UTC)

The photo of the crowd is the same image tweeted on January 21, 2017, by the Los Angeles mayor:

The Los Angeles women's march was estimated by police to total at least 500,000, according to Time magazine.

While the Washington, D.C., officials do not release crowd estimates, photos actually from January 6, 2021, do show a very large gathering in support of President Trump.

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  Alan Duke

Editor-in-Chief Alan Duke co-founded Lead Stories after ending a 26-year career with CNN, where he mainly covered entertainment, current affairs and politics. Duke closely covered domestic terrorism cases for CNN, including the Oklahoma City federal building bombing, the UNABOMBER and search for Southeast bomber Eric Robert Rudolph. CNN moved Duke to Los Angeles in 2009 to cover the entertainment beat. Duke also co-hosted a daily podcast with former HLN host Nancy Grace, "Crime Stories with Nancy Grace" and hosted the podcast series "Stan Lee's World: His Real Life Battle with Heroes & Villains." You'll also see Duke in many news documentaries, including on the Reelz channel, CNN and HLN.

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