Six easy ways to tell if that viral story is a hoax

NEWS in the digital age spreads faster than ever, and so do lies and hoaxes. Just like retractions and corrections in newspapers, online rebuttals often make rather less of a splash than the original misinformation.

One recent image in question (below) purported to show a group of Syrian refugees holding ISIS flags and attacking German police officers.

For those resistant to accepting refugees into Europe, this story was a godsend. The photo quickly spread across social media, propelled by far-right groups such as the English Defence League and Pegida UK. At the time of writing, the page claims to have been shared over 300,000 times.

The problem is, the photo is three years old, and has precious little to do with the refugee crisis. In fact, it seems to be from a confrontation between members of the far-right Pro NRW party and muslim counter-protesters, which took place in Bonn, back in 2012. A number of news outlets tried to highlight the hoax, including Vice, the Independent and the Mirror, as did numerous Twitter users.

This article gives ways to authenticate which news we are getting is genuine and which is not.



17 thoughts on “Six easy ways to tell if that viral story is a hoax

  1. Bryan trusts snopes.
    WTC7 Bryan, how many articles have Snopes posted on that building?

    The Christian Church should be asking and answering in the same breath just one single question.
    Is multiculturalism a betrayal of Jesus Christ, Only begotten Son of God, Maker of Heavens and Earth?

    Like Solomon’s foreign wives, a great thing came crashing down. It’s a humpy dumpty thing.. Nothing could fix Sodom either. It’s the sense of senselessness loss. It’s the alcoholic or gambling addicts that have blown their inheritance and life’s saving in a single grand binge. The West is a two thousand year old building delinquents have set fire to in a single afternoon, and not a grown up in sight.


    • “WTC7 Bryan, how many articles have Snopes posted on that building?”

      A search of Snopes on WTC7 gets 65 results. So 65.

      “Is multiculturalism a betrayal of Jesus Christ,”

      This would be the Jesus who was born and raised in the middle-east right? Wouldn’t the Christian religion be an example of multiculturalism in action ?


      • Well actually babe, it’s the Jesus who made the middle east, and the amazon basin, and mount Erebus. Love your research.


      • None of which suggest that he wasn’t born and raised in the middle east.

        Love whatever it is you do before you start typing


      • how many cults does one need to be multicultic?
        Ps. the shooting in Sydney has nothing to do with Islam. Experts agree. It was a white bigots fault. Poe’s Law.
        Jesus was a gay activist palestinian who insisted Caesar remain a card carrying secularist. poe’s law. Peace comes when everyone converts or dies. Just like Mosul – resolutions at last. But what details did allah give muhammad and whose multicultic stands on judgement day?
        or judgement daze in your case. I’m not cynical about Jesus, just everybody else.


      • “Jesus was a gay activist palestinian ”

        Really I always thought he was Jewish.

        PS the shooting in Sydney may well have everything to do with Islam. Anders Breivik may well be Christian. I’m an atheist I really don’t care who has the better class of imaginary friend.


      • I agree, God Almighty isn’t with you.

        A Theos ——— the ramblings of a mortal man without God.

        You are an Atheist.

        I know every argument you have available to you. Hence, there becomes a time when a Christian will speak at you rather than to you. It’s for my benefit.

        And POE’s law again. Diversity has enriched your atheistic life.


      • or ho humm, If Caesar decided to burn all Australian Churches down wouldn’t ordinary Christians here just say ho, hum, we have to respect what is Caesar’s. If any government criticized a Mosque leader here however there will be molotov cocktails and flag burning by 6 pm news bulletins with sympathy from the ABC about how offended every Aussie should be.
        think this is an overstatement, really? Does loyalty to Christ mean anything to an Australian believer.
        Does loyalty to Christ really mean, here, rape our wives, run our local councils, we’ll fund your schools to take over the entire country infact. AH, hyperbole. Poe’s law. It can all only be white bigotry, otherwise you’d be saying it. Islam is the religion of peace. Obama can’t be wrong. Europe is multicultural and successful. Really.


      • Aww Phillip George if it really means that much to you then you can have the best imaginary friend. After all you do seem to have an amazing imagination.


      • My comment concerns how some crimes are swept under the carpet and others are put under the global microscope. In the US anyway people are being pushed towards civil unrest perhaps to provide an excuse to remove more civil liberties. The old problem, reaction, solution.

        Hey don’t get me wrong, the problem is with Muslims. As I said earlier, we moved away from the teachings of God and become a people who act on our desires and become materialistic. We let evil grow in our societies without trying to stop it. We did not urge each other to do good. We are now being punished for it.

        I said at the end of last year that Muslims in Australia may start to receive punishment from God as well. We are starting to see that with Muslims being bashed and bullied around me. It does not get a lot of media coverage but that is to be expected. We have been told now not to allow our wives and daughters to walk alone because they are being targeted.

        This was all foreseen 1400 years ago.

        The People will soon summon one another to attack you as people when eating invite others to share their food.”
        Someone asked, “Will that be because of our small numbers at that time?”
        He replied, “No, you will be numerous at that time: but you will be froth and scum like that carried down by a torrent (of water), and Allah will take the fear of you from the breasts (hearts) of your enemy and cast al-wahn into your hearts.” Someone asked, “O Messenger of Allah, what is al-wahn?”
        He replied, “Love of the world and dislike of death.”
        [An authentic hadith recorded by Abu Dawud and Ahmad]

        We have become like froth on water. No substance. What do Muslims have to do to get Gods blessing back ?

        Truly, God does not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves.” (Quran 13:11)

        We need to move back to God and stop acting on our desires. Try to stop the evil we see around us and urge each other to do good.


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