Debunked: Fake London Big Ben fire video goes viral on TikTok

No, London's Big Ben was not on fire on Thursday as a fake TikTok claimed.
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A fake TikTok showing what appeared to be London's famous Big Ben engulfed in flames went viral on the popular video-sharing platform this week.

On Thursday (January 25), a 15-second video of the iconic clock tower was uploaded to TikTok, which appeared to show it in flames.

The initial clip, which had sound of sirens in the background, was followed by a series of fake images, that looked to have been taken from the scene, of the flames at the Westminster spot.

Unsurprisingly, the hoax post quickly gained attention on the platform, with more than two million views, a further 22,000 likes and almost 2,000 comments.

Of course, London's Elizabeth Tower ('Big Ben' is technically the name of the bell) was not actually on fire on Thursday evening or even today. But for those who were worried, you can see the clock tower still currently standing unharmed in Westminster on this live feed.

While some commenters were concerned in the replies of the post, others were quick to flag the post as AI generated and noted that it nearly fooled them.

One wrote: "CGI is getting too good now that almost had me!" Another added: "AI is getting so good it's actually scary."

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