Fact Check: A Beachgoing Social Media User Did NOT Predict 'The Virus' Back In 2013

Fact Check

  • by: Sarah Thompson
Fact Check: A Beachgoing Social Media User Did NOT Predict 'The Virus' Back In 2013 Simple Edit

Did a man enjoy some time at the beach back in 2013 knowing that the coronavirus pandemic would be coming in seven years and did he post about it in a status update on his Facebook timeline? No, that's not true: When this photo was first shared on Facebook it had no caption. The September 5, 2013, post was edited on January 21, 2021, to add a caption that pretended to foretell the future.

A screenshot of the edited post, translated to English, was posted to Facebook by "Dank Memes Melt Steel Beams" on August 5, 2021. The text in the screenshot reads:

Sep 6, 2013
Enjoying the beach because in 7 years the virus comes
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This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:

Facebook screenshot

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Thu Aug 5 19:42:04 2021 UTC)

The original post of the beach photo had no caption. When the post was edited on January 21, 2021, a caption in Spanish was added, it said:

Disfrutando la playa x qué en 7 años viene el virus

When a post is edited, there is a record of what it said previously. The menu to find the post's edit history is in the upper right-hand corner of the post. The three dots there are called a "meatballs menu" when horizontal (when vertical they're called a kebab menu). "View edit history" will show the dates it was created and that of any changes to the post.


(Source: Lead Stories composite image showing "view edit history" screenshots taken on Thu Aug 05 20:00:57 2021 UTC)

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Lead Stories is working with the CoronaVirusFacts/DatosCoronaVirus Alliance, a coalition of more than 100 fact-checkers who are fighting misinformation related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about the alliance here.

  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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