In mid-June 2020, the following meme circulated on Facebook and Instagram, purportedly a screenshot of a Facebook post by a woman claiming she was “beaten and raped” by three people of color at a Black Lives Matter protest:
Alongside three hashtags (#endpolice, #defundthepolice, and #blacklivesmatter) was a closely cropped photograph of a woman with a black eye. Text on the image read:
The other night at the BLM protest I was beaten and raped by three POC. I didn’t call the police or report it. I don’t want to see any more black lives ruined by police brutality. #endpolice #defundthepolice #blacklivesmatter
When shared to Instagram in the above iteration, the user included what appeared to be support of sexual assault — as well as a racist remark about “black face paint.” Although the origin of the post appeared to be Facebook, it wasn’t clear where or when it began spreading in June 2020.
Incidentally, the image did appear on Instagram, although it was not from the year 2020, and it had nothing to do with Black Lives Matter or sexual assault. It was shared by Russian mixed martial artist Anastasia Yankova in September 2016:
In the original post (translated by Google), Yankova said:
This is MMA, babe 😉
I danced with my elbows with my elbows quite well on Friday, now the bow in the style of “Three Station Squares” will be with me in the next few days 😂 #fuckfake #betrue #all danced elbows #MMA #wmma # Bellator161
It was obvious whoever initially attached the image to the photograph in June 2020 was aware that the claim the “other night at the BLM protest I was beaten and raped by three POC” was fabricated, but some of the image’s sharers likely did not know that. It was the intent of the meme’s creator to spread disinformation, however, and the story itself was easily proved false.