A video claiming fireworks were set off at a screening of the new movie The Holdovers, starring Paul Giamati, in the U.S. has gone viral on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter. But the video isn’t from the U.S. and doesn’t show a screening of The Holdovers.
“This happened at my screening of the holdovers last night. People love their Giamatti,” Twitter user Andrew Boley wrote jokingly.
And while the user was clearly making a joke, as we can see from follow-up tweets, the tweet clearly confused a lot of people who wanted to learn more about what might be happening in the video.
In reality, the fireworks were set off in a theater that was showing the new movie Tiger 3 in India. The film stars Salman Khan and was directed by Maneesh Sharma.
“Massive fireworks reportedly in the cinema hall during #SalmanKhan’s #Tiger 3 in Malegaon Maharashtra. The fireworks created a stampede-like atmosphere in the cinema hall,” the local news outlet Organiser Weekly reported on Monday.
It’s not immediately clear if anyone was hurt when the fireworks were set off in the theater. Part of the confusion over this particular tweet lies in a feature that allows users to essentially re-use a video while largely obscuring the source of the video.
Twitter first launched a crowd-sourced fact-checking program called BirdWatch in 2021 but after Elon Musk bought the platform he changed the name to Community Notes. And while Community Notes has been expanded in an effort to respond to viral fakes more quickly, there are still a number of times when hundreds of thousands or millions of people see false information before it can be corrected.
This particular tweet was a joke, but misinformation and disinformation are spreading like wildfire on social media, especially since the terrorist attacks in Israel that killed 1,200 people. False information spreads quicker than ever thanks to social media platforms like TikTok, Facebook and X, but there’s no easy solution to any of it.