Did Church Bells In Paris Ring To Celebrate Joe Biden Victory?
A viral tweet (archive) claims that church bells were rung in Paris to celebrate the news of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris winning the 2020 US presidential election. The tweet contains a 21-second video showing the skyline of Paris. The video has over 1 million views and the tweet has been retweeted over 14,000 times on Twitter. The camera pans across the skyline in the video and the Eiffel Tower can be seen while church bells are heard ringing. The claim was shared widely on social media such as Facebook, with Saturday Night Live even incorporating the video in a segment on the Weekend Update
While the video is real, the accompanying claim that the church bells were rung specifically to celebrate Joe Biden’s victory is false. The church bells heard in the video were most likely calls to prayer. The Associated Press conducted a fact-check on the issue and contacted the Paris Diocese and the Diocese of Nanterre for further information. The diocese stated that no churches were instructed to ring bells in connection with the US presidential elections.
French fact-checking website The Observers also investigated the claim and relayed a press statement from the Diocese of Nanterre in a tweet. While the French authorities have recently banned religious services in the wake of a surge of COVID-19 cases, some of the bells in various churches were set to automatically ring at that time for the evening Mass and had not been reprogrammed.