Beware what is shared online.
The latest case of false labeling is a video that's gone viral which shows a large, young black man violently beating an old, black man for stealing a backpack.
A number of websites and viewers have claimed that this is Michael Brown.
On Saturday, the conservative site Clash Daily posted the video with this headline:
"SHOCKING VIDEO: Supposedly This Is MICHAEL BROWN Beating & Robbing An Old Man."
The only information provided by Clash Daily: "Here’s a video that supposedly shows the ‘gentle giant’ beating the crap out of an old man. VIEWER WARNING. Please share and forward to Obama and Sharpton."
But Snopes.com (a site that examines rumors and urban legends), concludes that the claim that this video shows Michael Brown is "probably false."
Yes, this low-quality video depicts a large man, similar in size to Michael Brown. But Snopes notes, Michael Brown was 6-foot 4-inches tall. The unidentified man in this video is shorter. His skin tone is also not the same as Michael Brown's. His facial features don't match Michael Brown's. He has pierced ears, Michael Brown did not.
This beating was filmed at Woodland City, a large apartment complex in Dallas, and it was originally posted to YouTube in 2012. Michael Brown, who would have been 16 at the time, has never lived in Texas.
There have been other false claims circulated online that claimed to support a narrative that Michael Brown had a history of criminal activity prior to the cigar theft and confrontation with Ferguson police officer Darrell Wilson, notes Scopes:
Since Brown's death in August 2014, several rumors have circulated about him that have later been proved entirely false: one involving his supposed arrest record, another claiming he had gravely injured Officer Darren Wilson, and one displaying a photo of gun-wielding murder suspect Joda Cain that was touted as depicting the "real Mike Brown."
This latest "Michael Brown" video made this week's Washington Post list of "What was fake on the Internet this week"