A large fire in a crop field next to a comment blaming the governmentRob and Stephanie Levy

Rob and Stephanie Levy/Flickr Chris Isreal/Facebook Daily Dot

Conspiracy theorists keep claiming that the government is purposely burning food crops

The claim isn’t true and is part of a larger effort to blame current food-chain issues on a sinister plot.

 

Mikael Thalen

Tech

Posted on Aug 16, 2022   Updated on Aug 16, 2022, 6:17 am CDT

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Conspiracy theorists are spreading video online that they claim shows the government purposely burning crops in order to cause food shortages.

But the claim isn’t true and is part of a larger effort to blame current food-chain issues on a sinister plot.

The video, which was originally posted to TikTok and later shared to Facebook, began going viral across social media this week. The 9-second clip shows a crop field on fire next to a caption that urges viewers to grow their own food due to “planned” food shortages.

Yet the video at no point shows any individuals, let alone government agents, starting the fire. The footage also fails to provide any details on where it was filmed and by who.

Despite no evidence to support the claims, many Facebook users commented as if the video was legitimate.

One commenter argued that those who did not believe the video were nothing more than “sheep.”

But many pushed back on the characterization of the video as well. Numerous users noted that the crops being burned were entirely brown, suggesting that the plants had actually gone bad.

While it is unclear where exactly the footage came from, the imagery, according to Lead Stories, closely matches photographs taken in Ruskin, Florida.

A caption on the image notes that a farmer is purposely burning off an old tomato field in order to prepare for planting a new crop.

Dozens of Facebook users also suggested the same, noting that there was no evidence that the incident was anything but ordinary.

The false claim is just the latest in a series of conspiracy theories that accuse the government of purposely sabotaging America’s food supply.

Conspiracy theorists have also been blaming the government for a series of fires at food processing plants this year, despite such fires being far from uncommon.

In other words, random and contextless videos on social media of crop fires do not prove that the government is secretly sabotaging the country’s food supply.

Why it matters

Such videos highlight the issue of confirmation bias. If someone already believes a claim, it will take little to reinforce that belief, even if it comes in the form of a 9-second video clip with no context.

Always make sure to be diligent when viewing online content, even if you believe it could be true.

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*First Published: Aug 16, 2022, 6:00 am CDT