The term “fake news” has spiraled from its standing as a beloved colloquialism of Donald Trump to a very real and insane tool of propaganda and hate. The most recent example sees Twitter trolls attempting to fan racial tension by sharing pictures of white victims who were supposedly “attacked” at screenings of all-black superhero film Black Panther, according to BuzzFeed News.
BuzzFeed shared the following screenshot (the Twitter account has since been suspended) of a tweet alleging racially-motivated violence. “I went to see #BlackPanther with my gf and a black teenager shouted ‘u at the wrong theater’ and smashed a bottle on her face.”
The picture in question actually shows a 19-year-old Swedish woman who was assaulted at a club last month for refusing to engage with a furious drunk man.
The majority of these tweets include pictures of battered and bloodied white women. The following image is actually of an 18-year-old Glasgow woman who was beaten by her boyfriend for hours because she refused to buy him cigarettes:
This next account— still active at the time of writing— employed a photo of the ex-wife of former White House staffer Rob Porter, who was forced to resign earlier this month for being the (alleged) reason behind the bruises on her face:
Here is a nice smattering of other tweets from the account above, in case you had any doubt of his status as troll supreme:
This account literally googled “blood on paper towel” and used the first image that popped up to tweet this:
While this one employed the name and likeness of Paul Nehlen, an alt-right white supremacist who is trying to defeat Rep. Paul Ryan in the Wisconsin Republican primary:
(Nehlen’s real Twitter account was recently suspended for a racist tweet made about future princess Meghan Markle.)
BuzzFeed News points out that the image actually belongs to a Serbian woman from this YouTube video, who back in 2013 used special effects makeup to raise awareness about domestic abuse.
Naturally, there are those working to fight this spread of fake news:
This user appeals to Twitter to ban accounts that spread false information:
Sadly, this is not the first time Black Panther was forced to endure racism. Internet trolls and alt-right groups began attacking the film’s Rotten Tomatoes score before it even opened in theaters, attempting to cast it as a failure in a sad campaign to stop people seeing it. This caused such an outrage that Facebook took action against the group responsible.
Always make sure you go to trusted sources for your news and remain vigilant about your research rather than accepting information from random sources at face value. Stay safe out there, y’all.