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On Wednesday October 13, hours after an archery attack left 5 people dead in Norway, photos claiming to show the killer circulated on Twitter. The images, shared by Internet users in a mocking tone but taken seriously by several media, are false: they show the German YouTuber “Drachenlord” who has nothing to do with the attack.
Several Twitter and Facebook accounts shared photos of a man shooting a bow in a garden, in the hours following the archery attack in Norway on October 13, 2021. One of the first shares of the intoxication is a Twitter post in German which claims to show photos of “Rainer Winklarson”, specifying that the killer would have “announced his crimes several days before on his YouTube channel and even showed his shooting skills”.
Twitter accounts like here, here and Facebook accounts picked up on the footage, citing “Rainer Winklarson” as the killer’s name. Among the accounts that shared the intoxicating, many German-speaking accounts used to hoaxes and humorous content.
However, the images were taken in a more serious tone by other Twitter accounts, such as October 13, on this account relaying pro-Israel information and this Indian account.
News sites have also been deceived by these false images, such as the Sud-Ouest site, the Greek newspaper Proto Thema and the Italian site Italy 24 news.
In fact, the name “Rainer Winklarson” is the Scandinavian twist of YouTuber Rainer Winkler’s name, and the photos are from a video where he films himself archery in his backyard.
Photos of Rainer Winkler, German YouTuber regularly victim of hoaxes
The photos are from a video featuring Rainer Winkler archery, posted before August 26, 2020, which is currently no longer available on his YouTube channel.
As reported by Correctiv, a German fact-cheking organization, a reverse image search via InVID We Verify (see how to do this here) finds the photo on the blog “AltschauerbergExpress”, which discusses the footage in an article from August 27, 2020. The original video is no longer available, but the blog shares more photos from this video.
On another video posted on his YouTube channel on April 4, 2021, we can see the place where the video was shot: it is the same building and the same target hanging on the doors of the house. It was shot in Rainer Winkler’s house in Emskirchen, Bavaria (Germany). Photos of the house posted by local media match those in the video.
A photo of the suspect released
A photo of the suspect in the October 13 archery attack, Espen Andersen Brathen, has been circulated by several media and by AFP. We see that the faces of this suspect and Rainer Winkler do not match.
For his part, the police of the district of Middle Franconia, in Bavaria, also warned against intoxication in a tweet.
A frequent hoax
Rainer Winkler’s photos and name have been the subject of hoaxes on several occasions. Several arguments have broken out between the YouTuber and his “haters”, a community of Internet users who hate him and organize numerous acts of intimidation against him. The YouTuber himself is due to go to court on October 21, 2021 for “assault” on a person and “insulting” police officers.
Rainer Winkler, for example, had already been misrepresented as the suspect in the Munich massacre in July 2016, after which the Russian channel REN TV picked up a tweet that identified Rainer Winkler as the alleged assassin.
Similar hoaxes are regular on social networks: one of the most famous regularly involves the American YouTuber Sam Hyde to whom Internet users attribute the responsibility for many incidents or disasters, such as recently the fact of having spread a new strain of the coronavirus.
>> To read on the Observers: No, this man is not the shooter of Viernheim (but just a redundant hoax)