FACT CHECK: Does This Photo Show An Elderly Former Marine That Set Fire To An Antifa Activist’s Car?
An image shared on Facebook over 1,100 times purportedly shows an elderly former Marine who set fire to an SUV belonging to an antifa activist.
There is no evidence the photo depicts a retaliatory act against an antifa activist. The image has been circulating online in the form of various memes for years.
In the image, an elderly man appears to smile for a photo while an SUV in the background burns. The caption accompanying the image reads, “Carl doesn’t like Antifa because they like to set things on fire, so Carl followed one back to where he lived and set fire to his stuff. This is Carl. Carl is a retired Marine. Marines don’t give a shit.”
Through a reverse image search, Check Your Fact discovered that the image has been circulating in the form of various memes since at least November 2013 on Reddit and meme websites. For example, one iteration reads, “When everything is wrong in your life but you’re used to it.” Another has the words “Me, stoned listening to music” over the elderly man and the words “The frozen pizza I put in the over 3 hours ago” over the burning car.
People associated with antifa, a broad group of far-left anti-fascism activists, have been involved in protests, sometimes those involving violence and property damage, according to The Associated Press. However, recent claims about antifa activists starting wildfires in counties in Oregon have turned out to be false.
The image being shared predates the recent civil unrest sparked after George Floyd, an unarmed black man, died on May 25 in Minneapolis police custody. While Check Your Fact could not determine the origin of the photo or the identity of the pictured man, there is no indication the photo depicts a retaliatory act against an antifa activist. (RELATED: Image Claims To Show Man Who Started Multiple California Wildfires In 2020)
Some Facebook users who commented on the Facebook post were able to discern that it used an older image from other satirical posts, but others appeared to think the post could be real.