Paul Golding, the leader of far-right group Britain First, has been called out for posting a Twitter video of what he called “a crowd of ‘moderate’ Muslims celebrating the Paris terror attack in London”.
The video footage is real but the description is false – the scenes filmed have nothing to do with Islam or terrorism.
Alarm bells ought to start ringing as soon as you begin to watch the footage.
The obvious implication is that these men are really extremists, and they are singing and dancing in reaction to the news that a suspected Islamic militant killed a policeman in Paris on Thursday.
Oddly though, none of the men are wearing Islamic dress.
At one point, one of the crowd hugs a white woman who wanders through the scene:
This is not behaviour typical of an Islamic fundamentalist.
The men are not flying flags or banners with a religious message or chanting support for the attack.
Instead, they are flying the flag of Pakistan and chanting “Pakistan”. Why? Because they are cricket fans celebrating Pakistan’s victory over Sri Lanka in a 20/20 match in 2009.
How do we know this? Because the same video is still available on YouTube, correctly described, and clearly labelled as having been uploaded to the video sharing site in June 2009:
Anyone can double-check that the date is correct by using open source tools like Amnesty International’s YouTube DataViewer.
If you put the url of the video into the toolbar, DataViewer extracts data and tells you when it was first uploaded. In this case, it confirms that this footage was first posted on 22 June 2009.
We’re not going to pretend to have done anything clever here.
In fact, it took about two minutes of checking for us to find out that this story was untrue.
Sometimes that’s all the effort you need to help stop false stories like this from spreading around the internet.