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Fake News: German Biker Gangs NOT Beating the Hell Out of Muslim Refugees

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Wed, 05 Dec 2018 10:01:01 Z)

Are German biker gangs beating the hell out of muslim refugees in their midst who "keep assaulting their country's women"? No, that's not true: a Macedonian fake news website altered the title of a news article from an Indian news website based on a German newspaper article about a single incident in 2016 which didn't involve biker gangs.

The story recently reappeared in an article published on December 3, 2018 titled "German biker gangs are standing up for their country's women by beating the hell out of the muslim 'refugees' in the midst who keep assaulting them - ludinfo24.com" (archived here) which opened:

Days after the sexual assaults on German women in Cologne city came to light, local gangs are uniting in a "manhunt" of foreigners. And just this weekend, two Pakistanis and a Syrian man were injured in attacks by gangs of people in Cologne, German police said.

On New Year's Eve, Cologne was the scene of dozens of assaults on women, a number that has grown into hundreds as more and women have come forward to register complaints.

Local newspaper Express reported that the attackers were members of rocker and hooligan gangs who via Facebook arranged to meet in downtown Cologne to start a "manhunt" of foreigners.
The assaults on women in Cologne and other German cities have prompted more than 600 criminal complaints, with the police investigation focusing on asylum seekers and migrants

Screenshot of https://www.ludinfo24.com/2018/12/03/german-biker-gangs-are-standing-up-for-their-countrys-women-by-beating-the-hell-out-of-the-muslim-refugees-in-the-midst-who-keep-assaulting-them/

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail and wouldn't be able to see this wasn't even recent news:

German biker gangs are standing up for their country's women by beating the hell out of the muslim 'refugees' in the midst who keep assaulting them - ludinfo24.com

Days after the sexual assaults on German women in Cologne city came to light, local gangs are uniting in a

The story seems to be mostly copy pasted from this 2017 article:

German Gangs Are Beating Up Immigrants After Syrian Refugees Sexually Assault Germany's Women

Note that the article only mentions "gangs", not bikers. The article cites this 2016 report from a German news website as the source:

Nach Übergriffen: Rocker und Hooligans wollten in der Kölner Altstadt „aufräumen"

Nach den zahlreichen Übergriffen in der Silvesternacht mal „ordentlich aufräumen", das war am Sonntagabend der Plan einer Gruppe aus Rockern, Hooligans und Türstehern. Nach EXPRESS-Informationen hatten sich die Beteiligten in einer nicht öffentlichen Facebook-Gruppe verabredet, um in der Kölner Altstadt „auf Menschenjagd" zu gehen.

That article read in part:

Nach den zahlreichen Übergriffen in der Silvesternacht mal „ordentlich aufräumen", das war am Sonntagabend der Plan einer Gruppe aus Rockern, Hooligans und Türstehern.
Nach EXPRESS-Informationen hatten sich die Beteiligten in einer nicht öffentlichen Facebook-Gruppe verabredet, um in der Kölner Altstadt „auf Menschenjagd" zu gehen.

Translated:

After the numerous attacks on New Year's Eve, "cleaning up" was the plan of a group of rockers, hooligans and bouncers on Sunday evening.
According to EXPRESS information, the participants in a non-public Facebook group had arranged to go "on a manhunt" in the old town of Cologne .

The article goes on to say several people were arrested. Several people got assaulted:

Vigilante gangs are 'cleaning up' Cologne by beating up refugees

Vigilante gangs have been roving the streets of Cologne on a "manhunt" for asylum seekers as the backlash to the New Year's Eve attacks continues. Among the 11 victims were Pakistani men beaten by a 20-strong mob and Syrian refugee targeted minutes later by a smaller group nearby.

The biker gang story was published by ludinfo24.com, a Macedonian-registered website launched just a few days ago which is part of a larger network of sites that keeps posting the same inflammatory anti-muslim and anti-refugee stories over and over again in order to cash in on advertising by manipulating people's emotions, often with untrue or manipulated content:

Old Network of Anti-Islam Fake News Websites Turns To Twitter Trolling | Lead Stories

Tara, Jesica, Ana, Lora: since a few weeks dozens of trolls on Twitter are dangling bait in front of American Trump supporters. Their goal: bring in as many clicks as possible for two commercial, (potentially Serbian) anti-islam websites. And it is working: in twelve days they reached a potential audience on Facebook of 3.8 milion users.

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About the author:

Maarten Schenk is our resident expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk
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