This was going to be a single article on the importance of source provenance and being careful about from whom and what we quote. However, because one particular image has started to do the rounds, and because to my mind the provenance of it is not good, I’ve decided to make this a two part article, firstly on this particular image and then on choosing sources in general.
Before I start, I’d like to say that I’m not intending this piece or the companion piece to slag off any particular individual who may or may not have shared these examples, which would not be fair to those concerned. Besides that, quickly punting stuff out and not having time to check and recheck it is something of which we who write have all been guilty, at some time or another. I’m not going moan about the speck in someone else’s eye and ignore the plank in my own.
There is a striking image doing the rounds purporting to come from an antifa outfit in Europe. It is in the form of an internet graphic which contains the words ‘A rape can last thirty seconds but racism lasts forever. Let them in’. This text is accompanied by a rainbow flag version of the ‘refugees welcome’ logo and the Twitter hashtags for ‘antifa’ and ‘refugees welcome’. It’s being distributed quite widely, often being used as an indication of the depravity of the Left.
However, my attempts to establish some form of provenance for this image, and its connection with any Leftist group, has drawn a bit of a blank. I’m suspicious of this image; although I know that in the quasi-religious world of the political far Left, there are some pretty disturbed individuals with equally disturbing views, would this not be a step too far? It would certainly be a step too far for any Leftist group with a thinking feminist presence or any understanding of the lasting effects of rape. I know antifa groups can be off the wall, violent, single minded, hate-filled etc,; but would even they go this far?
I’m going to call bullshit on this image and say it is a fake on the following grounds:
This has not turned up on Snopes at all, although I have submitted it to them for evaluation on 25th February 2016, as yet there has been no responses from them.
There are no contact details or organisation details on the online image. This is strange. Normally organisations want to attract attention for their cause, so it is odd that whoever used this sort of provocative image that would guarantee both positive and negative (mostly negative I’d guess) response, didn’t leave a url or anything? It is almost as if whoever generated this image didn’t want to leave an easy to follow trace.
It is alleged that it surfaced first on a Facebook page in Germany and may have been generated there but this doesn’t answer the question ‘who generated it’? Evidence of origination seems woolly to say the least.
It’s being distributed without any question about its provenance by the usual real far right types of Daily Stormer etc. Always a good sign that you should give whatever it is, a very wide berth.
A contact sent me a link to an Italian news website that covered the appearance of this image but again, it doesn’t answer the questions about who did it and from where did it originally come? The site in question (Google translate and original article pasted below) was also vague but stated that this image had been made into a flyer and distributed in the Principality of Monaco. However the site doesn’t make it clear who was distributing the document or for what purpose? Also what they are reporting is just anonymous statements from who knows what.
The layout of the image in question is in itself based on a known fake. While searching Snopes for this image, I came across a very similar one but with a different political end point. The original fake was one aimed at the Brady Centre for Prevention of Gun Violence and featured a very similar image of a distressed woman with very similar wording. The Brady Centre issued an unequivocal statement denying any involvement in this and I’m satisfied that this is the case.
So far, we have an image with no group name or contacts, which appeared suddenly on social media, of no definite attachment to any group, vague news reports about it which themselves shed no light and it is even based on a known fake. It also goes way beyond any of the wildest knobwittery that I’ve ever encountered on the Left. The provenance of this image doesn’t look good does it? I’d say that this was the work of an individual nutter, either a far left nutter who has stopped taking the meds that keep them in touch with reality, or someone from another political current engaging in a bit of Trolling.
There is also another more outlandish possibility as to where it came from, why this was distributed and why it appeared to originate from Germany, but that’s far too speculative for me to feel comfortable speculating on it, besides that my tin-foil hat is currently at the cleaners. All I will say is that if someone was so inclined; creating and distributing this document in the manner that it was, is an ideal way of identifying the gullible.
Until I receive trustworthy evidence to the contrary, I’m going to call it a fake for the reasons I give above.
Although this is only one dodgy image, the effects of it and of similar false images could be serious. Those who distribute, albeit innocently, stuff that can easily be proved to be false or an attempt at mischiviousness, do the counterjihad community no favours at all. When such scams or falsehoods are ultimately revealed for what they are, they make the counterjihad movement look stupid and give ammunition to our enemies. There is a whole load of provable nastiness in Islam, its theologies and its culture; there should be no need to make up stuff , because the reality is bad enough.
I’d like to end by asking those who encounter such images or online memes to do a bit of digging before you start sharing them. The internet is a big library, although one with drunk library staff, and use it to check stuff like this. Real stuff will leave a trace that you can use to ascertain a document’s honesty and provenance. False stuff often reveals itself to be false when you start to look for the items ultimate origination point.
Italian news source that covered this story
MONACO – “One rape lasts 30 seconds. Racism is forever. ” So says a shock flyer distributed in the streets of Monaco, in Germany, and finished online trailer hashtags #refugeeswelcome and #antifa. As if to say that the violence against women are a small price to pay in the name of the fight against racism, to be pursued at all costs.
The reference is obviously to the events in Cologne, but the message is all too provocative to be true. To the point that in the welter of controversy unleashed some believe that it may be a fake. No claim was made at the time. But the flyer was still shared on different pages
– See more at:http://www.blitzquotidiano.it/photogallery/volantino-choc-stupro-dura-30-secondi-razzismo-per-sempre-2394252/#sthash.KoENndr9.dpuf
Snopes on the very similar graphic used to attack the Brady Centre.