Fact Check: Blurring In Free Palestine Protest Video Was NOT Specific To Women's Legs

Fact Check

  • by: Sarah Thompson
Fact Check: Blurring In Free Palestine Protest Video Was NOT Specific To Women's Legs Watermark Blur

Was a video, showing people in Wales singing in support of Palestine, blurred to comply with Sharia law -- to hide the bare legs of the women who were wearing shorts? No, that's not true: The video was first posted on TikTok without the blurring and was apparently added when another account reuploaded the video to Instagram, a platform with a policy of limiting the reach of Reels videos carrying watermarks and logos -- a sign which may indicate the content is recycled. Because the blurring does not consistently obscure all of the women's bare legs in the scene or only their bare legs, there is no evidence the blurring served any purpose other than removing a watermark.

The video was first posted on TikTok on August 20, 2023, by @alurrehman193 (archived here). Months later the video resurfaced on X (archived here), when it was posted by @DrEliDavid on January 1, 2024. The X post was captioned:

Palestinians share video of a pro-Palestinian protest in Wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 👇

But they blur women's legs, because exposed legs are immodest according to Sharia law 🤣

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

Twitter screenshot(Source: Twitter screenshot taken on Tue Jan 2 16:56:49 2024 UTC)

This fact check only concerns the placement of the blurred areas in the video, not whether women's exposed legs are against Sharia law.

The @alurrehman193 account which first shared the video on TikTok shares videos from protests in the United Kingdom. The posts pinned at the top of their feed have many hashtags including #thebigride4palestine -- a 140-mile bicycle ride from Swansea to Bristol that took place from August 3-6, 2023. In two of these videos, a rendition of the Italian folk song and partisan anthem, "Bella Ciao" is sung in support of Palestine. This video shows when the cyclists were received and sang at the Wattsville Football Club during the 2023 ride.

The X post by @DrEliDavid was reposted directly from the account Palestine Online. They made the post on X (archived here) back on August 23, 2023. Palestine Online received many critical comments at the time regarding the blurring in the video. One person wrote:

Are you seriously censoring the legs of women who support free Palestine? Incredibly shameful, wouldn't expect this from you.

On August 26, 2023, Palestine Online responded to the criticism (pictured below) that the blurring in the video was not their addition. The post (archived here) reads:

Note: This video is not blurred or edited by Palestine Online.

Video source: @FalastiniTV on Instagram

Apologies 🙏🏻

Twitter screenshot(Source: Twitter screenshot taken on Tue Jan 02 19:12:34 2024 UTC)

The above post links to the @FalastiniTV account on X, but not their account or the video mentioned on Instagram. At the time of this writing, January 2, 2024, the video does not appear on the @FalastiniTV X account or Instagram account so it is not possible to verify if the video was found on Instagram and was already blurred, as claimed by Palestine Online. The shared video does bear the logo of the @FalastiniTV channels. The Arabic script and music note watermark say, "Palestinian".

Throughout the 0:54 second long video, the type of blur, the position in the frame, and the size of the blurred area change, but these changes do not mirror the position of the women's legs in the frame. In the Lead Stories composite image below, six screenshots taken from the blurred copy of the video show the arbitrary placement of the blur in relation to the bare legs.

(Image source: Lead Stories composite image made with X screenshots taken on Tue Jan 02 22:47:38 2024 UTC)

Sometimes the blur does obscure legs, and other times there is a blur and legs are not obscured. This suggests the reason for the blurring was to comply with the Instagram Creators "best practices" which were announced in a post on February 9, 2021. The third slide in the announcement lists four things that will cause a video to not be recommended in the Instagram reels tab. Second on the list is to not post a reel that "is visibly recycled from other apps (i.e. contains logos or watermarks)."

(Image source: Instagram screenshot taken on Tue Jan 02 22:14:02 2024 UTC)

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.:

  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

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