Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show European Parliament Member Using Cocaine During Meeting

Fact Check

  • by: Kaiyah Clarke
Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show European Parliament Member Using Cocaine During Meeting German Snuff

Does a social media video show a European Parliament member sniffing cocaine during a public meeting? No, that's not true: The man seen in this video is a former German politician who was never a European Parliament member. Also, he is legally using dry snuff tobacco -- not cocaine.

The claim originated in a post on Twitter (archived here) on March 26, 2023. The post has a video of a man sniffing a powdered substance off his hand. The video's caption read:

Remarkable to see a member of the European Parliament using cocaine during a meeting......

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

European Parliament: Cociane Meeting Video Image.png

(Source: Twitter screenshot taken Thur Mar 30 17:30:36 UTC 2023)

Lead Stories replicated the InVID-WeVerify reverse video search done in this March 27, 2023, Delfi fact check. We found that the video clip in the tweet was taken from a March 9, 2023, video titled, "AfD politicians as civil servants: does that fit together?" that was posted on the verified YouTube account of ARD, a German regional public broadcasting organization.

At the 4:54 mark, the ARD video shows the same footage of a man sniffing a substance from his hand. A title graphic at 4:50 in the video identifies the man as Jens Maier, a German politician and former judge who is a member of AfD ("Alternative for Germany"), generally considered a populist, right-wing party.

The video shows Maier sitting in the Bundestag hall, the German parliament's plenary hall. Maier was a member of Parliament in the Bundestag from 2017 until 2021. Deemed a far-right extremist by Germany's Office for the Protection of the Constitution, he lost his judgeship in 2022, the daily Taz.de reports.

An advanced search of the European Parliament's database of parliamentarians found nothing to confirm the claim that Maier holds or ever held a seat in the European Parliament, the legislative body for the European Union.

In the video posted on Twitter, Maier, who has described snuff as one of his "biggest weaknesses," is seen sniffing something from his hand. The image resembles the snuff-taking techniques documented (at 1:29) in the September 5, 2015, BBC Studios video "Addicted To Snuff - Addicted To Pleasure - BBC."

In response to the video on Twitter, users commented that Maier appeared to be sniffing snuff ("Schnupftabak" in German), otherwise known as dry snuff tobacco, which is legal for personal use in Europe.

Similar images of the substance Maier was using can be viewed here.

The Spanish fact-checking site Maldita.Es also rated as false the claim that the video on Twitter depicts a European Parliament member snorting cocaine.

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.:

  Kaiyah Clarke

Kaiyah Clarke is a fact-checker at Lead Stories. She is a graduate of Florida A&M University with a B.S. in Broadcast Journalism and is currently pursuing an M.S. in Journalism. When she is not fact-checking or researching counter-narratives in society, she is often found reading a book on the New York Times Bestseller List.

Read more about or contact Kaiyah Clarke

About Us

International Fact-Checking Organization Meta Third-Party Fact Checker

Lead Stories is a fact checking website that is always looking for the latest false, misleading, deceptive or inaccurate stories, videos or images going viral on the internet.
Spotted something? Let us know!.

Lead Stories is a:


Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required

Please select all the ways you would like to hear from Lead Stories LLC:

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.

Most Read

Most Recent

Share your opinion