A Creepy Video That Shows How Easily Protest Photos Can Be Staged


Think the above photo is showing a violent protest in the Middle East? Think again. The photo is in fact a screen grab from a video showing just how easily news photos of a ‘violent protest’ could be staged.

The video below, captured by Elbadil TV, shows this fake protest shoot in action. Unfortunately we have no context regarding the “protest” itself — it could be a legitimate propaganda photo-op or simply a group of students showing how easily these things can be faked — but the creepy result speaks for itself:

In the video, the fake protesters are expressing their support for the recently unseated President of Egypt Mohamed Morsi. Some protesters hoist signs expressing their desire to avoid a coup and keep Morsi in office, while other ‘injured’ protesters are seen laying on the ground covered in fake blood.

Some cite this as an example of “Pallywood,” a term coined by professor Richard Landes of Boston University that refers to alleged media manipulation by Palestinians and other Arabs. Again, without context, there’s no way to know for sure what this is showing, but it certainly acts as proof of concept.


We already shared the dangers of fake imagery in the news and its psychological effects some time ago, this video simply points out that not all staged press photos require Photoshop.

  • Moayad

    It looks like some kind of flash mob.

  • niXerKG

    Wag the Dog

  • morcey

    the egyptians are capable of doing things beyond you imagination ,, stay tuned >))

  • Eugene Chok

    this is an old debate … the tendency is to believe that robert capas images are ‘real’ and eugene w smiths are staged…

  • bigskyloans

    “University of Boston”?

  • 写真家

    And with more and more citizen journalism, CNN iReports and user submitted content on social media, expect to see increase in agenda and propaganda, based false news imagery to be seen and taken as factual.

  • brob

    news is big business

  • Michael Spotts

    It’s infuriating at times, how difficult it is to discern the truth of situations from the news. I confess it’s made me fairly cynical in cases where someone stands to gain.

  • Trausti Hraunfjord

    Shot in Egypt… all the signs in …. err… English. That pretty much shows that it is not shot for them to learn anything about anything…. this is for making propaganda images for the international news propaganda organizations (the so-called “news media”).


  • Jon Woodbury

    If they really wanted to fake something, they should get better actors. There is very little actual emotion in the shots.

  • Ahmad Tawakol

    The YouTube video says that they’re acting out a play, but no one knows what they might use the captured images for. As one commenter says, they could be making fake propaganda images for international news agencies; doesn’t sound surprising.

  • Syuaip

    “more expressions.. more emotions! anger! more anger!” said the director…

    too fakey this one..

  • kendon

    protest bullet time, now that is cool!

  • whoa

    Like grammar??

  • the_gator

    Reuters news service was caught on multiple occasions manipulating news photos.

  • he_who_scoffs_at_danger

    The odd thing about it is that I can’t say for sure whether there is a protest movement that is less fake than this one. Perhaps the stage blood and the cooperation of actual emergency personnel is something above the mean, but phony martyrdom is the stock sub-plot at every protest demonstration I’ve ever been to, and I’ve been to many.

  • Michael Rasmussen

    People lie.
    The sun rises in the east.

  • HoeyHimself

    You’ve been to many? Maybe you should try going to concerts or something else, way more chill of a crowd.

  • Karzay

    Actually, it’s not too hard to find signs in English in Egypt, because English has become the international language of trade. It’s taught to kids in most foreign schools where those countries have connections or do business with the West.

  • Wow


  • YJawhar

    Pallywood? That’s a very demeaning term to use. Shame.

  • kernel

    Those are morsey supporters and muslim brotherhood pure terrorists but i dont know why obama and usa supports them
    There do a lot of torture and killing in their protests most of them are illiterate and sick minds ,and again the surprise is obama support or may be he wants to create new age of terrorists !!,!,!

  • Spongebob Nopants

    Actually all protestors are taught to always make signs in English when they want to broadcast their message to the world at large. In ME protests it’s very common.

  • Spongebob Nopants

    HA! You rummaged around for anything you could use. You couldn’t find anything so you just picked something and labled it negatively in the hopes of shifitng attention or making people feel guilty about talking about it.
    You have no problem with lying if it’s by the right people and about the right people. But exposing it? That’s what’s oh so objectinable to you. Cry me a river.
    Your fake indignation dovetails nicely with this video about how indignation is so easily faked.

  • rednip

    Loopy right wingers always push silly fantasy rather than acknowledge simple reality. Step ‘A’ for a true supporter of Morsi would have been to make the call that he was removed in a military coup. Instead the plane truth is ignored in a hope that the military leaders will once again allow a fairly quick transition to a democracy. Many don’t remember that we needed two tries at a stable federal government ourselves.

  • Stan B.

    Not unlike “grassroots” organizations here in the states that are created and funded by right wing billionaires like the Koch Bros…

  • Trausti Hraunfjord

    My point is that this demo of a demonstration … or whatever it was, is created for international propaganda purposes. I reside in a Spanish speaking country in South America, and even when people know English here, they never ever ever EVER make signs in English for their demonstrations, unless they are demonstrating against the US in some way, in front of the US embassy…. and even then, most signs are in Spanish. That is because they are not propagandizing for the international media or creating “talking points”… they are actually demonstrating for a reason, against people that speak their language.

  • Kenyatta Abasi

    I’d be more interested in hearing of these cases, you allude to, where no one stands to gain.


  • Elvis

    “Some cite this as an example of “Pallywood,”
    a term coined by professor Richard Landes of Boston University that
    refers to alleged media manipulation by Palestinians and other Arabs”

    and some of us cite this as a example of the pervasive anti-muslim propaganda to excuse the illegal occupation of palestinian land.

  • Karzay

    That’s a good point. I’ll take your word for it. I think it’s different in the other parts of the world, as people in most countries know the West has a huge influence on their economy, and they want that international influence involved if it helps their cause. Human rights are of great interest to the West.

    On the flip side of that, if people are protesting against their government, it’s partly because they might think America has something to do with it, so they might want to send a message to both. I have seen a reporter ask why a sign was in English once, and the protester said it because he wants the world to know what is going on in his country.

  • Darren

    yer right all those people killing themselves for the sake of propaganda

  • he_who_scoffs_at_danger

    I remember this lame meme from the day the statue was torn down. It would be lame enough if the claim was, “Look! The square was empty hours after the fact at dusk, so the crowd shots from noon are fake!”, but the intention of the montage is for the viewer to forget what natural light looks like and assume the two photos are of the same scene at the same time of day.

  • he_who_scoffs_at_danger
  • he_who_scoffs_at_danger

    If you notice Palestinians lying, you’re a bad person. Got it.

  • YJawhar

    Hmm.. isn’t that what the people who are killing the Palestinians are doing, “as well”? My objection was not about the article or what the situation is, my only objection was about the word that was used. If it was a term about Israel, both the professor & the writer of this article would have been slapped with terms such as anti-semitism, hatred, racism & the list goes on & on, & might have even been prosecuted & put to jail, though the word “semite” actually applies to people from almost the whole region of the middle east & especially the area of the fertile crescent.

    Learn some history, how to be objective & for the love of god, put some freakin pants on.

  • Jack’s Son

    Obama’s Birth Certificate and his Selective Service Card, obvious fakes, but the 0bama media poodles are deaf, dumb and blind about this fraud.

  • Jack’s Son

    I met two Palestinians who wanted to rent a room in my house. They sneered at it, and didn’t smile at me once, but they would rent it until they could “find something better.”

    They left and when they came again an hour later I threw their money back at them and locked the door. They started shouting about ‘racism” and got in their car (after I asked if they wanted the police) to go harass some other Americans.

  • Kamel

    This was an actuall filming for recreation of protest and pro coup took this and said it was a made up from protesters, why you are pretending of being so stupid why would tey make a video of this? Crealy it is not real one, even the background is empty