January 27, 2021

A video supposedly showing two women being arrested in an airport after participating in the violent Capitol protests went viral on social media. The video was shared millions of times, paired with the #NoFLyList hashtag. However, the video is not actually related to the events that took place on Jan. 6. Here’s how we fact-checked this.

Head to the original source

This video was shared on YouTube but the watermark makes it clear that the video was originally posted on TikTok. As a general media literacy tip, it’s good to be cautious when you see a claim jump from one social media platform to another. It’s possible that it could have lost some context along the way, or maybe it’s being shared completely out of context.

While the YouTube title and description claim that these women were being arrested for their involvement in the Capitol riots, the actual text within the TikTok does not make it clear where, or more importantly, when this happened. It simply says “this was crazy seeing right when we landed.”

Since the video includes the TikTok user’s handle, we were able to track down the original claim. The video was shared by user @yungxleen, and was posted on Jan. 8 — two days after the events that took place at the Capitol.

Look for dates and times

Checking for dates and times is a pretty easy way to keep yourself from sharing old information. But it’s not always full proof. While this video was posted shortly after the events at the Capitol, which might lead some to think they’re related, the TikTok does not mention the Capitol riots at all — not in the TikTok description or in any of the hashtags used.

But while looking at @yungxleen’s profile as a whole, we saw that they posted a follow-up video.

In this clarification, the TikToker clearly states that the video was taken back in November and “has nothing to do with the capitol.” Unfortunately, the damage was kind of already done — the first video had already gone viral, and the update wasn’t seen nearly as many times as the original. For comparison, this TikTok user posted two videos of these women in the airport that were seen a total of 6.5 million times. The clarification, on the other hand, was only seen about 500,000 times.

Try a keyword search

If you aren’t sure if what’s in a video is true or not, it never hurts to do a keyword search. Searching  “tiktok women arrested at airport” brought up plenty of results, including this fact-check from Reuters.

Reuters also found that the video was filmed back in November, and has nothing to do with the Capitol protests.


Because the video was filmed in November, long before the events that took place at the Capitol on Jan. 6, we will rate this YouTube video as Not Legit.

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