UK far right group Britain First not only plagiarised an article from another source this week, but failed to work out it was a satirical article that was actually poking fun at them.
Originally published by user hrtpbs for the website Joe.co.uk, the article was a parody of what Joe.co.uk describes as “faux outrage” by various media outlets towards the recent appearance by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn at Glastonbury music festival on the same day as Armed Forces Day.
In the satirical article, the author hrtpbs calls Corbyn a “disgusting peacenik” who has hated “Armed Forces Day, a British tradition for generations ever since its inception in 2008”
Of course to most readers, the article is a clear attempt to poke fun at various media outlets who ran articles criticising the Labour leader for attending Glastonbury Festival. However Britain First clearly mistook the article for genuine.
Both leader Paul Golding and deputy leader Jayda Franssen posted links to the article from their respective Twitter accounts.
Not only that, but the faux pas also highlighted the far right political party’s habit of plagiarising articles from elsewhere on the Internet and passing them off as their own. Most of the articles on their site have been copied and pasted from other websites including The Sun and The Express without any backlinks or credit given to the original source.
The article has since been deleted from the Britain First website but still exists in Google’s cached memory.
While pointing out Britain First’s “idiocracy” online is always amusing (and easy), for the rest of us, it is important to always read past the headline before disseminating information across the Internet. That is how fake news can spread and in this case how satire can be mistaken for genuine.