I write and talk a lot about the need to take care what we re-tweet and share on-line, that we check our facts and don’t spread garbage under our name.
Then on Sunday evening I learnt this lesson like a slap in the face.
While I was checking out what was trending for my column I saw news breaking about #Malmo. People were tweeting about explosions and terrorist attacks in Sweden, claiming a news blackout by the BBC and Sky. I was obviously alarmed and wondered what was going on. I checked and there was indeed nothing about it in the news.
I resisted retweeting only because I was wary about the tone of the tweets, some of which were pretty hard line anti-Islam. Then Nordic News tweeted that it was false.
This news is totally false. There has been NO explosion in Malmö.
4 people were wounded in shooting. Please follow reliable sources. https://t.co/HWPvsxRIiy
— Nordic News (@Nordic_News) September 25, 2016
They had to keep tweeting this as people argued with them.
It turns out that four people were killed in an apparent gang shooting but some folk very quickly tried to spread false news of a Muslim invasion.
I’m not going to share their links to the twitter accounts as I don’t want to give them publicity, but tweets like this went out with a video that had no credits and no name attached, but would certainly push fear buttons
The Muslim invasion has detroyed Sweden, killed countless Swedes, & made terrorism an everyday occurrence
The Swedes have effectively lost control of their own city in
#Malmo due to immigration
#Malmo (Sweden) why isn’t @FoxNews or @CNN covering radical Islam terrorist attack? Is it so often that they won’t cover anymore? This woman is apparently an attorney
#Malmo The MSM is so sanitised now that anything to do with (whispers) ‘islam’ is ignored. ‘You know what by you know who’
As I did a bit of digging I saw that this was being spread by right wing extremists, white supremacists – and Trump supporters, from accounts that appear to have been set up solely to spread racial hatred, such as a guy I’m not going to name, but this is his bio..
Devoted to aggregating latest headlines re:crime perpetrated by third worlders in the first world
#RemoveKebab #WhiteGenocide #AltRight #Trump2016 #BuildTheWall
I know that mostly we follow people who think like us so I don’t have much contact with people who spread such hatred, but I learnt a good lesson as to how easy it is to push people’s buttons and get racist rubbish shared widely by people innocently believing it’s real.
It isn’t hard to check the facts, we have all we need at our finger tips now. So let’s stop spreading bull shit!