Far right group Britain First are once again in the firing line regarding their role in propagating online rumours aimed at inciting racial hatred.
For those who are not familiar with this UK based organisation, they’re a small political party that has roots in the BNP (British Nationalist Party.) They lean very much to the far right, responsible for various anti-Muslim rallies, mosque raids and promoting Islamophobia.
Their Facebook page has ballooned in popularity, thanks largely to their persistent like-farming techniques that essentially trick large numbers of social media users into liking their Page. We’ve had to deal with the fallout of their Facebook antics a few times on this website, like the time they tried to spread a false rumour that immigrants were being given more government money than British pensioners.
And now they’re spreading an image via their page that seems to show a Muslim holding a sign that says “Boycott Bigotry and kill all non-Muslims”. An image (below) that would certainly seem to potentially raise tensions. If it were real, that is.
But the image isn’t real. It has been digitally manipulated. The real image (below) actually highlights the intentions of the man holding the sign. It reads “Boycott Bigotry” and then has the logo for the “People for the American Way” (PFAW) logo. The words “and kill all non-Muslims” were “photoshopped” onto the picture.
The man in the image is – according to the Yorkshire Standard – Dawud Walid, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, who has, incidentally, also served in the United States Navy and earned two United States Navy & Marine Corp Achievement medals.
This inconvenient fact (for Britain First) didn’t stop them posting it to their hundreds of thousands of followers. It isn’t apparent if the far right group knew the image was fake before they posted it, but given their past history with the truth, it doesn’t seem likely that they would care that much.
Radical groups like Britain First are not a reliable source of truth, which is why it is important on social media that you fact-check your sources before hitting share, if not for any reason than to avoid embarrassment when you find out you’ve shared information with your friends that simply isn’t true.
We don’t know if Britain First knew the photo they shared was fake. But since they describe themselves as a political party, either way it doesn’t really show them in a good light. On one hand they’re manipulating their readers with false information. On the other they post controversial content without any fact checking. Ultimately they’re not a group you should be using as a source for anything.
Have you come across Britain First related rumours before that turned out to be false? Let us know below.