Far-right accounts ‘spreading fake news and hate speech’ in Spain and Europe ahead of elections

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DECEPTION: Avaaz said fake news and hate speech was been spread on Facebook. Credit: Shutterstock


FAR-RIGHT groups have been spreading fake news, propaganda and hate speech on Spanish social media and across Europe ahead of this month’s EU elections, a campaign group has claimed.

Avaaz said more than 500 accounts linked to the far-right were posting the content on Facebook. There activity has been detected in Spain, Britain, Italy, Poland, Germany and France, according to Avaaz.

Avaaz said in its Far-Right Networks of Deception report that a Europe-wide investigation showed groups were ‘weaponising’ social media ahead of EU elections held in Spain on Sunday. British voters go to the polls today (Thursday).

Avaaz Campaign Director Christoph Schott said: “Millions of Europeans will cast their votes this week after being exposed to toxic lies without knowing it.”

“Together, the pages removed had almost three times more followers (5.9 million) than the pages of the main European far-right and anti-EU parties combined,” Avaaz said.

Avaaz said it found three far-right networks spreading misinformation and hateful content in Spain.

“Most of the pages were supporting the far-right Vox party and were mainly managed by fake or duplicate accounts,” Avaaz said.

A further three were found in Britain, according to the group’s report.

The pro-human rights campaign group said one example of such content was a video which claimed to show migrants smashing up a police car. It was viewed by almost 10 million people, Avaaz said.

“The problem? It’s completely false- it’s actually from a movie. That did not stop far-right groups around Europe from sharing it.

“Facebook did nothing while it went viral, increasing suspicion, hostility and hatred towards migrants,” Avaaz said.

2 COMMENTS

  1. If ten million people see a video clip from a movie claiming to show migrants smashing up a police car, it’s no wonder many believe it’s true. After all, there are some strange people around who believe the likes of East Enders and Corrie are showing true events! I once met the actress Anne Kirkbride, sadly no longer with us. She had a holiday home near where my wife and I live here in Spain. She thought it was hilarious that fans had got up a petition to get her out of jail when her character, Deirdre, was imprisoned as part of the plot in Corrie. The petition was only a bit of fun of course, but the funny thing was, a few of the fans thought it was true!
    And these people have the vote. Scary or what? 😉

  2. The truth is somewhere in between. It is just as heinous to hide the problems as it is to invent some. Migrants DID revolt in Madrid last year and the numbers coming to Spain from Africa is on the rise. Most cause no trouble, some don’t stay in Spain long anyway and some plot to kill Europeans.

    Pretending that the bad stuff isn’t happening or that there isn’t cause for concern is what feeds the so-called “far right” not false news.

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