The President of the United States has re-tweeted several videos from the deputy leader of British far-right nationalist party Britain First, a political party notorious for spreading online misinformation.
Britain First was compromised of former members of the British Nationalist Party, who left to form the fringe far-right extremist political group. Britain First’s Facebook page has garnered many followers, often through the process of exploitative like-farming techniques, and is also known for regularly posting misinformation.
We’ve debunked the nonsense coming from the Britain First Facebook page many times on this website. They’re renowned for mistaking satirical articles for true, posting hateful ‘photoshopped’ images, continually posting age-old hoaxes that have been debunked years ago, as well as continuing to knowingly circulate known fake information with the sole intention of creating hatred and stirring tensions towards ethnic minorities in Britain.
Outside of their social media page, they’re known for holding controversial street demonstrations, invading mosques and being continually arrested for crimes such as promoting hate. In fact, deputy leader of the party, Jayda Fransen, 31, was arrested only weeks ago after a controversial speech made in Belfast some months prior.
Despite their reputation in the UK, President Trump re-tweeted three videos claiming to show violence by Muslims that had originally been uploaded by Britain First deputy leader Jayden Fransen (the same person who was arrested only weeks prior.)
Politics aside, when the President of the United States retweets posts to his 44 million followers from an extremist group that frequently (and knowingly) engages in the dissemination of hoaxes, propaganda and disinformation, then that’s a big problem.
In fact, one of the videos retweeted by Trump, apparently showing a “Muslim immigrant” attacking a Dutch boy, has been disputed by many who have cast doubt on whether the video actually did show anyone of the Islamic faith, rather just to Dutch kids, both of unknown faith. Vice has a full article here. This is the sort of misinformation you risk spreading if you retweet an extremist group know for doing exactly that.
While retweets are not directly synonymous with endorsement, this still promotes the agenda of an extremist group, it increases their reach, which means from now on, this group has a much larger global platform from which to peddle their frequent lies.
It’s very disappointing and frustrating for websites like ours that have spent considerable time debunking those lies. It means their future lies and misinformation is going to reach many more people, making our job that much more difficult.