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Fact check: Video allegedly showing US election ballots being buried is fake

This image shows a scene from a YouTube video that was referred to in an article on the Al Arabiya news site on Nov. 17, 2016.

TOKYO -- A video that has gone viral for allegedly showing election ballots cast for President Donald Trump being buried in a mountain is false, and actually shows the disposal of spoiled meat.

    The same video was previously used on the news site of a Dubai-based satellite television station in 2016, with the description reading that workers were "tossing away thousands of packs of chicken." It is clear that that the video is unrelated to the 2020 U.S. presidential election.

    On Nov. 5, manga artist Koubun Son retweeted a post written in Chinese that showed this video, and added the comment, "A huge amount of Trump ballots were transported in trucks and buried in the mountains," in Japanese. (https://twitter.com/sonkoubun/status/1324240400844902400) The tweet had been retweeted 2,800 times and had gained 4,500 likes as of noon on Nov. 6.

    However, internet searches have found that this video was introduced in an English story published on Nov. 17, 2016 on the news site of Al Arabiya, a satellite broadcaster based in Dubai and closely affiliated with Saudi Arabia. (https://english.alarabiya.net/en/variety/2016/11/17/Video-shows-Saudi-Arabia-getting-rid-of-80-000-packs-of-spoiled-chicken-) The video was described as making the rounds on Saudi Arabia's social media.

    In the video attached to the article (https://youtu.be/FoyEugz0uBM), workers are seen tossing out white boxes from the back of numerous trucks parked in a desert, while other workers open the boxes and dump the contents onto the ground.

    According to this article titled "Video shows Saudi Arabia getting rid of 80,000 packs of 'spoiled chicken,'" officials found businesses trying to deliver expired chicken not suitable for consumption, and confiscated 25 refrigerated trucks. This video is said to show workers throwing out boxes containing the meat in the desert.

    The same video was uploaded a month later on YouTube with a description claiming that counterfeit bills were being disposed of in Pakistan, and it is likely that this is also false.

    (Japanese original by Satoshi Kusakabe, Integrated Digital News Center)

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