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Here Are The Hoaxes And Misinformation About The Notre Dame Fire

Francois Guillot / AFP / Getty Images

The Notre Dame Cathedral, an iconic Parisian landmark, began burning on Monday and has partially collapsed. You can read the updates here. As the cathedral burned, online hoaxes, conspiracies, and coordinated disinformation campaigns began to spread across social media.

1. This story relied on a since-deleted tweet to spread a baseless claim the fire was set deliberately.

The conspiracy website InfoWars was among the first to baselessly claim the fire was set deliberately. The cause of the fire is currently unknown, though the cathedral was recently undergoing renovations. InfoWars provided no evidence for its story, except for a since-deleted tweet from someone claiming they knew a Notre Dame employee.
InfoWars

The conspiracy website InfoWars was among the first to baselessly claim the fire was set deliberately. The cause of the fire is currently unknown, though the cathedral was recently undergoing renovations. InfoWars provided no evidence for its story, except for a since-deleted tweet from someone claiming they knew a Notre Dame employee.

2. There’s zero evidence Muslims were responding to the fire with “smiley faces.”

InfoWars contributor Paul Joseph Watson (who wrote the above story) tweeted a link to video that claims to show Muslim people celebrating the fire. Watson was amplifying content from a far-right personality named Damien Rieu. Critically, the video in question does not show what people on Facebook were reacting to. It's also difficult to know the religion of each person reacting to a video en mass. So: we really have no idea what was going on here, and there is no proof to back up this claim.
Twitter / PrisonPlanet

InfoWars contributor Paul Joseph Watson (who wrote the above story) tweeted a link to video that claims to show Muslim people celebrating the fire. Watson was amplifying content from a far-right personality named Damien Rieu.

Critically, the video in question does not show what people on Facebook were reacting to. It’s also difficult to know the religion of each person reacting to a video en mass. So: we really have no idea what was going on here, and there is no proof to back up this claim.

3. A fake twitter account impersonating CNN spread a hoax about the fire.

The account was created this month and only has seven followers, but the false tweet gained traction. The account was finally removed by Twitter — more than two hours after it began tweeting disinformation.
Twitter / CNNpolitics2020

The account was created this month and only has seven followers, but the false tweet gained traction. The account was finally removed by Twitter — more than two hours after it began tweeting disinformation.

4. There is a coordinated campaign to spread an article from 2016 that’s unrelated to today’s events.

Dozens of accounts are tweeting a link to a 2016 article in order to create the impression that it's more recent. The story in question was about a car found near Notre Dame with gas tanks and "Arabic documents" inside. This appears to be an attempt to suggest this incident is connected to the fire. But, again, it happened roughly three years ago and is unrelated.
Twitter

Dozens of accounts are tweeting a link to a 2016 article in order to create the impression that it’s more recent. The story in question was about a car found near Notre Dame with gas tanks and “Arabic documents” inside. This appears to be an attempt to suggest this incident is connected to the fire. But, again, it happened roughly three years ago and is unrelated.

5. A misleading post from Jihad Watch, a website that frequently spreads Islamophobic disinformation, is getting traction across social media.

The website posted a news story with a headline that makes it seem like the content is directly connected to the fire. It's not. An update on the post says, "This is not a post about the fire at Notre Dame," but readers can only see that when they click on the story. The incident in question is the same one from 2016 that accounts on Twitter are trying to spread.
Facebook / Jihad Watch

The website posted a news story with a headline that makes it seem like the content is directly connected to the fire. It’s not. An update on the post says, “This is not a post about the fire at Notre Dame,” but readers can only see that when they click on the story. The incident in question is the same one from 2016 that accounts on Twitter are trying to spread.

6. A fake Fox News account is spreading disinformation about the fire.

The account claims it's a parody in its bio but is spreading falsehoods about the Notre Dame fire.
Twitter / USFoxNews

The account claims it’s a parody in its bio but is spreading falsehoods about the Notre Dame fire.



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Written by Angle News

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