Crop Destruction Social Media Videos
This summer, the Illinois Farm Bureau began hearing from farmer members and staff about videos circulating on social media that appeared to show farmers destroying their crops. They were dubbed as the “crop destruction videos”. The Illinois Farm Bureau social media and public relations staff worked with the Illinois State University’s Social Media Analytics Command Center to investigate and gain insights into these videos.
Here’s what was determined: The videos first emerged in May on TikTok. Conspiracy theorists shared the videos suggesting the US government was trying to create an artificial food shortage by forcing farmers to destroy crops. Some actual farmers posted parody or satire videos which some people did not realize were parodies and not based on fact or reality. Some videos were hijacked by bad faith actors looking to generate views or negative public relations. Millions of sharing of these videos have occurred as a result.
What is being done?
- Nothing can be done to stop the creation and sharing of untrue information videos.
- Facebook and TikTok have removed some videos, labeling them as misinformation.
- Local news outlets have done stories and Snopes did an article after speaking with the USDA.
- Some farmers have made their own videos debunking the story, but they haven’t had a significant impact.
What can you do about this?
- Share the facts with people in your zone of influence.
- Share the facts about these videos and social media posts.
- Don’t share the crop destruction videos on social media and avoid viewing them yourself to not increase abuse of the videos.