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Fake News: No 12 (or 123) Dead At 'Gilets Jaunes' Protests in France

  • by: Alan Duke
  • (Sat, 17 Nov 2018 14:27:15 Z)

Were 12 (or 123) people killed at the "Gilets Jaunes" protests in France today, and were 2300 people seriously injured? No, that's not true: so far the protests against rising fuel prices have caused one death but a Belgian satire website with a history of inflating the count of deaths and injuries during breaking news events is at it again. Their counts are totally made up.

The story originated from an article published by NordPresse on November 17, 2018 titled "Gilets Jaunes: Bilan à 10h: Déjà 12 morts" (archived here) which opened:

Le ministre de l'Intérieur Christophe Castaner a annoncé à la télévision le décès de 12 personnes sur la commune de Pont-de-Beauvoisin en Savoie, expliquant qu'une mère de famille qui conduisait sa fille chez le médecin avait paniqué face à un barrage de gilets jaunes et blessé mortellement légèrement 12 manifestants.
La manifestation n'était pas déclarée en préfecture.

Translation:

Interior Minister Christophe Castaner announced on television the death of 12 people in the town of Pont-de-Beauvoisin in Savoie, explaining that a mother who was driving her daughter to the doctor had panicked in front of a roadblock of the yellow vests and lightly mortally wounded 12 protesters.
The demonstration was not declared in the prefecture.

Note: people being "lightly" killed is a trademark signature of NordPresse's satire articles.

Screenshot of https://nordpresse.be/gilets-jaunes-bilan-a-10h-deja-12-morts/

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail, with a modified screenshot from BFM TV:

Gilets Jaunes: Bilan à 10h: Déjà 12 morts

9h45 - Christophe Castaner annonce la mort de 12 manifestants. Le ministre de l'Intérieur Christophe Castaner a annoncé à la télévision le décès de 12 personnes sur la commune de Pont-de-Beauvoisin en Savoie, expliquant qu'une mère de famille qui conduisait sa fille chez le médecin avait paniqué face à un barrage de gilets jaunes et ...

However in reality only one person was killed in the incident, which tragically did happen, and about 50 people were injured during the protests:

Gilets jaunes: une femme tuée, une cinquantaine de blessés, 124.000 manifestants en France

Les "gilets jaunes" se rassemblaient samedi matin à travers le pays pour tenter de bloquer routes et points stratégiques lors d'une "mobilisation générale" citoyenne inédite contre la hausse des prix des carburants, un mouvement dont l'ampleur restait encore difficile à évaluer.

Later on the site doubled down on the hoax, posting another story claiming 123 "lightly dead" and 2300 "gravely wounded":

Gilets jaunes: Nouveau bilan de 123 morts légers et 2300 blessés graves

A l'instant - Christophe Castaner annonce la mort de 123 manifestants. Le ministre de l'Intérieur Christophe Castaner a annoncé à la télévision le décès de 1 personne sur la commune de Pont-de-Beauvoisin en Savoie, expliquant qu'une mère de famille qui conduisait sa fille chez le médecin avait paniqué face à un barrage de gilets jaunes ...

Le Journal Du Nord (nordpresse.be) is a satirical website that was set up to mock the (real) sudpresse.be (since renamed sudinfo.be), a Belgian media group. They were involved in a lawsuit with each other in 2017 which was eventually won by NordPresse.

They have sort of a disclaimer in their header that reads:

Toute l'information vérifiée par nos analystes simiens

Translated: "all information verified by our monkey analysts".

We wrote about nordpresse.be before, here are our most recent articles that mention the site:

For more info on the "yellow vests" protests, see here:

'Gilets jaunes' protesters threaten to bring France to a standstill

Unofficial movement with no identified leader plans to block roads in rally over fuel prices

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About the author:

Editor-in-Chief Alan Duke co-founded Lead Stories after a 26-year career with CNN. He mainly covers entertainment, current affairs and politics. Duke closely covered domestic terrorism cases for CNN, including the Oklahoma City federal building bombing, the UNABOMBER and search for Southeast bomber Eric Robert Rudolph. CNN moved Duke to Los Angeles in 2009 to cover the entertainment beat. Duke also co-hosts a daily podcast with former HLN host Nancy Grace, "Crime Stories with Nancy Grace." You'll also see Duke in many news documentaries, including on the Reelz channel, CNN and HLN.

Read more about or contact Alan Duke
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