A beleaguered army regiment has implored people to be more alert to spoof stories after an "absolutely ridiculous" article claiming soldiers were being kicked out of army barracks to make way for refugees was shared 100s of times online.
When readers clicked on the link they were directed to a page made to look like the Daily Mail which quoted a refugee called 'Mohammed Mohammed' who was said to have "swam from Afghanistan to France with only a pot noodle and half a charge on his iPhone 6s".
However, the web address clearly showed the article was a fake - part of the URL said CloneZone - but that was lost on the 285 people who expressed their outrage in the comments section under the post.
Joe White wrote: "Why should these men give up their homes to this scum, they hate the British army, you can imagine the mess they are going to leave when they move on to other homes, just not right, wouldn't happen in a middle eastern country or Arab country in the world so why does Britain have to do it what a joke the English Government are."
Dan Miller almost had it cracked when he said: "I know. I couldn't believe it when I read it. It's almost as if it's made up."
Save Britain told its followers that it was "absolutely disgusted" that the army was "turfing out" soldiers to make way for the Syrian refugees.
The fake-Daily Mail article said the refugees would be arriving in the spring and quoted the Ministry of Defence as saying the soldiers housed on the base would move into temporary accommodation in Otterburn Training Camp, "where tents are being erected for them to live in until at least 2018 according to our source".
The story went on to quote Lance Corporal Mark Hartley as saying: "First they take our jobs, then they take our homes. I only just got a 1 man room when I got promoted so this has upset me. I'm glad I never bought a TV licence".
It then carried quotes from Mohammed Mohammed, who said: "I travel long way to be here. My family no here, they in Swindon. They own kebab shop. Me happy to live in Weeton, me hope it no dirty, me want soldier to make sure clean".
"They say I can go Scotland but me no go there I saw Trainspotting on AL Jazeera, me no happy by this".
Mohammed Mohammed, as it turns out is Kurdish.
The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment Association was forced to issue a statement after being inundated with questions about the non-existent plan.
They wrote on Facebook: "Please pay attention to what we say.
"You may have seen an article circulating on social media that Syrian refugees are going to be housed in Weeton.
"Firstly this is utter rubbish.
"Please stop circulating this post and stop sending us questions about this.
"In the article 'Mr Mohammed Mohammed' says he swam from Afghan to France with a pot noodle and his iPhone 6!
"The original link was cloned and edited to make it believable but please, read these things thoroughly.
"It's absolutely ridiculous."
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