FACT CHECK: Viral Image Claims To Show A ‘3rd World’ Shanty Town In Los Angeles

Aryssa Damron | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook claimed to show a shanty town in Los Angeles, California.

“Just be grateful you weren’t born in a 3rd world country like Los Angeles, California, USA,” the caption reads.

Verdict: False

The photo actually depicts a now-demolished makeshift village in Paris, France.

Fact Check:

In an attempt to criticize the way Los Angeles has been run, the image compares the city to a third world country. Los Angeles has had a Democratic mayor since 2001. “One Democrat mayor after another,” one user who shared the image wrote, before asking, “What are the voters thinking?”

However, the photo was taken in Paris, not Los Angeles. The image first appeared in a December 2015 piece by The Daily Mail titled, “The Third World shanty town… in the heart of Paris: Roma gypsies create their own village built from rubbish and scrap in one of Europe’s great cities.”

“Steam rises from the shacks’ chimneys as a woman stands outside her home smoking and others get on with their everyday lives,” the original image is captioned.

According to February 2016 reporting from Vice, the camp began in summer 2015 along a defunct railroad track, at one point housing around 300 people. The village was demolished in 2016 due to safety concerns.

Although the picture was miscaptioned, Los Angeles does have a sizable homeless population, with many people pitching tents in a district known as Skid Row. (RELATED: Is Homelessness Up Nearly 50 Percent In Los Angeles Since 2013?)

Estela Lopez, executive director of the Central City East Association, told NBC News that “illegally dumping, food being discarded, accumulation of blankets and pillows, and human waste” in the area were creating “Third World conditions.”

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Aryssa Damron

Fact Check Reporter