Countering misinformation – fake pork story

Image by Shelly Paul

Recently, I came across a news-post about the purported correspondence by the mayor of Dorval city, Quebec about refusing to remove pork from the school canteen menu as requested by the local muslim community.

The so called “note” contains some harsh words for the muslim community from the mayor, chastising them for not adapting to their adopted country, which seemed fitting in the context. Turns out, that article was a hoax.

The muslim community living in Dorval city, never made such a request, and therefore there was no response from the mayor or anyone. This fake-news was an attempt to divide the community by pitting the muslims against the rest of the city population. This fake news has been circulating since 2015.

In fact, the city of Dorval has gone all out in countering the fake news, that its actual statement denouncing this misinformation campaign can be found on its official website..

Buzzfeed, a news organization has covered this story and includes the actual post in the news article.

In an interesting twist, there was a similar falshehood spread in a Belgian city. That story is on Snopes’ website and includes variations on this misinformation. Snopes is a fact-checking website that was started to look into the veracity of urban legends.

Here is another variation on the same theme.

Coming back to the original post, I almost believed this story. But when I checked the story for authenticity before passing it on, I found out that it was a fabricated article with malicious intent. So I decided that here on out, every time I encounter such misinformation, I shall put that on my blog, to do my little bit to counter dangerous misinformation.