Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy sparked outrage in 2005 when he referred to youths in riots in the ethnically diverse suburbs of Paris as “racaille,” rabble or scum. Fifteen years later, President Emmanuel Macron told young French people of migrant origin that they represented an “opportunity for France”.
Far-right French political candidate Thierry Tsagalos used both expressions in a September 14 Facebook post when he posted a video of an assault on women at a train station, implying that the incident took place in France and that the attackers they were from a migrant. background.
Using the InVid WeVerify online verification tool, the Truth or Fake team was able to trace the video back to Ireland. It shows an assault that took place in Dublin in April 2021. The attackers were white Irishmen and did not come from immigrants.
Since then, Tsagalos of the National Rally has edited his post on Facebook. However, its initial post is an example of how right-wing anti-immigrant politicians can instrumentalize content online that has nothing to do with what they are talking about, in an attempt to attract voters.
The Jowharteam spoke with Barbara Joannon, a specialist in migrant disinformation, who says we must be particularly cautious with such politicized content in the run-up to the 2022 French presidential elections. She explained what to watch out for: and how to be on guard against fake news online.