Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show 'Texas Tractors'

Fact Check

  • by: Madison Dapcevich
Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show 'Texas Tractors' Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show 'Texas Tractors' Not Texas

Does a video shared on Facebook genuinely show "Texas tractors"? No, that's not true: U.S. Customs and Border Patrol confirmed to Lead Stories that there is no evidence that such an event occurred. The clip in question was taken from a longer video posted on YouTube by German broadcaster Schöntal TV and was described as a farmer protest that took place on January 14, 2024, in Forchtenberg, Germany.

A version of the claim originated in a video shared on Facebook on January 23, 2024 (archived here), with a caption that read:

Texas tractors defend border!😍

Below is how the post appeared at the time of writing:

Screenshot 2024-02-02 at 2.40.07 PM.png

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken Fri Feb 2 21:40:07 UTC 2024)

In the post above, the reference is that the tractors are defending the border, presumably along the U.S.-Mexico border in Texas. In the comments section, the original poster noted that the clip had been posted from TikTok. A search (archived here) revealed that dozens of videos claiming to depict the Texas-Mexico border were also shared on TikTok, including this identical version of the video, now archived. (It was posted on January 21, 2024, but has since been removed.)

In response to a query from Lead Stories, Rick Pauza (archived here), a spokesperson for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in Laredo, Texas, emailed that the agency has "no evidence" that the event shown in the video ever occurred along the Texas portion of the U.S.-Mexico border.

"The equipment depicted in the reel is not CBP equipment, is not indicative of anything used by the agency in our day-to-day operations and does not appear to be the U.S.-Mexico border area," Pauza wrote in an email received on January 31, 2024.

A reverse image search (archived here) also pointed Lead Stories to the same video on YouTube (archived here). That post identified the video's location as "Forchtenberg." Forchtenberg is a town in western Germany, Google Maps shows.

Though Lead Stories was not able to locate the original post of the tractors video, a Google search of the keywords "tractor forchtenberg" (archived here) returned similar footage (archived here), titled in German "Bauernprotest in Forchtenberg" or "Farmers' protest in Forchtenberg" (translation by DeepL). This footage was published on YouTube on January 14, 2024, by local German broadcaster Schöntal TV (archived here).

A description that accompanied the video read:

Am 14.01.2024 protestierten ca. 500 Bauern in den Weinbergen von Forchtenberg im Hohenlohekreis gegen die aktuelle Sparpolitik der Bundesregierung.

Which Lead Stories translated to:

On January 14, 2024, around 500 farmers protested in the wine mountains of Forchtenberg in the Hohenkreis district against the current austerity policy of the Federal Government.

A comparison of screenshots taken from the clip shared on Facebook (below right) and from the video posted by Schöntal TV (below left) show similar elements, including the white street sign alongside a roadside shoulder seen at the 9:53 mark and a white house located on a hillside shown at the 10:18 mark of the video on YouTube:

Screenshot 2024-02-02 at 2.56.49 PM.png

(Source: Lead Stories screenshot taken Fri Feb 2 22:56:49 UTC 2024)

Lead Stories emailed Schöntal TV for further confirmation but did not receive a response. If we receive a response, we will update this article accordingly.

One of the earliest versions of the video shared on Facebook was also posted on X on January 19, 2024, (archived here) by the user Silvano Trotto. In response to an inquiry from Lead Stories, Trotto wrote in a message on X on February 2, 2024, that he originally found the video on the Telegram channel Bauer&Verbraucher geeint • Kanal (archived here) in a post from January 19, 2024. In that post, the location was also identified as Forchtenberg.

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  Madison Dapcevich

Raised on an island in southeast Alaska, Madison grew up a perpetually curious tidepooler and has used that love of science and innovation in her now full-time role as a science reporter for the fact-checking publication Lead Stories.

Read more about or contact Madison Dapcevich

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