Fact check: Photo shows Seattle crowd protesting BLM, not mail-in voting

Thousands of users on social media are sharing an aerial photograph of a crowd of people, misleadingly alleging it shows a protest demanding mail-in voting in Seattle. The image has been miscaptioned. It actually shows a Black Lives Matter protest in the city on June 6, 2020.

Reuters Fact Check. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt

One Facebook post shared over 11,270 times is visible here . Other iterations of this claim are visible here and here .

The claim started circulating on Twitter on August 16, according to the earliest iteration Reuters could find ( ). The tweet, which has been retweeted over 23,200 times, features the miscaptioned image and says, “AND THAT’S THE WAY IT IS… Thousands of Seattle Democrats gather to demand mail-in voting because it’s too dangerous to vote in-person.” Some iterations of the claim on Facebook and Instagram feature a screenshot of the widely shared tweet ( here , here ).

The miscaptioned image actually shows a Black Lives Matter protest in West Seattle Junction on June 6, 2020 weeks after the death of George Floyd (see Reuters coverage here , here ).

Paul Weatherman, the photographer who captured the image in the claims, originally shared it on his Twitter account along with other aerial shots of that day ( here ).

The photograph was featured in a local media report on the event entitled “West Seattle Junction fills with sea of protesters affirming ‘Black Lives Matter!” ( here )

Other local media reported here that “a crowd of several thousand people” protested the death of George Floyd. The organizers described the event as a “peaceful protest to let our voices be heard and support everyone being oppressed in the Black community.” ( here )

In recent days, demonstrators have protested outside the homes of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy in Washington, D.C. ( here ) and North Carolina ( here ) amid growing concerns that he is gutting the U.S. Postal Service to help President Donald Trump win reelection in November.


Partly False. This miscaptioned photograph shows a BLM protest in Seattle in June 2020, and not a mail-in voting protest on a different date.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our work to fact-check social media posts here .