No, video not of Italian billionaire’s suicide after ‘family wiped out’ by coronavirus

(Warning: This video may be upsetting to many.)

A video of a man jumping from a building to his death is making rounds on Facebook in Kenya.

“Italian Billionaire commits suicide by throwing himself from 20th Floor of his tower after his entire family was wiped out by coronavirus,” its caption reads.

Is this true? We checked.

Photo nearly five years old

A reverse image search of a screenshot from the video reveals that it was published online as early as 11 August 2015, with a different claim.

Covid-19 was first reported in December 2019 in Wuhan, China, according to the World Health Organization.

A Google search with the words “Italian Billionaire commits suicide by throwing himself from 20th Floor of his tower after his entire family was wiped out by Coronavirus” returns several fact-checks that point to a suicide at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Philadelphia, US.

Another search for “Man jumps from Embassy Suites Hotel in Philadelphia” brings up articles from 2015 detailing an incident involving a 37-year-old man.

Locating the Embassy Suites Hotel in Philadelphia on Google Maps and then using Street View, Africa Check was able to pinpoint the exact location where the video was shot. – Dancan Bwire


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Africa Check is a partner in Facebook’s third-party fact-checking programme to help stop the spread of false information on social media.

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Fighting coronavirus misinformation

Africa Check is working with the CoronaVirusFacts/DatosCoronaVirus Alliance, a coalition of more than 100 fact-checkers fighting misinformation about the Covid-19 pandemic.

Learn more about the alliance here.

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