UK

Leave.EU's False 'Child Refugee Terror Suspect' Facebook And Twitter Posts Not Taken Down

A day later...

07/03/2017 11:22 GMT

The Brexit campaign group ran by Nigel Farage and Arron Banks is still incorrectly claiming a refugee let into Britain has been arrested on suspicion of terrorist offences.

Leave.EU made the assertion on Facebook and Twitter on Monday and despite being informed of its mistake has still not removed the offending post.

The group posted pictures of two men it said were “very similar”.

One it claimed was a terror suspect arrested in Poole, and the other was a ‘child refugee’ let in last October. The arrested man is believed to have been one of four caught in connection with the escape of convicted murderer Shaun Walmsley.

Facebook
Leave.EU's Facebook post (pixelated by HuffPost UK).

Leave.EU’s error was flagged to them by The Mirror’s Mikey Smith on Monday with a spokesperson responding: “Oops. I got it wrong. Apologies. The danger of Twitter and fake news.”

He added the images would be removed from social media but at lunchtime on Tuesday they were still clearly visible. 

Twitter
Leave.EU's Twitter post (pixelated by HuffPost UK).

The Huffington Post UK has contacted Leave.EU to ask why the posts are still online but is yet to receive a response.

The image of the “child refugee” used in the post was one of many that caused a heated debate about the age of young males being allowed to seek refuge in the UK towards the end of last year.

Newspapers including the Daily Mail and The Sun used an online “fun app” to accuse those crossing the Channel from the Calais “Jungle” of lying about their age to take advantage of Britain’s immigration laws.

Daily Mail
How the Daily Mail presented its findings on the ages of these child refugees using Microsoft’s How Old Do I Look? software

Articles published by the outlets relied heavily upon Microsoft’s How-old.net site to suggest widespread deception.

The Daily Mail presented the website’s findings as a “damning verdict” on the age of child refugees. It went on to say “computer analysis” inferred refugees were lying about their age.

The Express similarly described the software as “facial analysis” and a “computer test” producing “results”.

But Microsoft wasted little time in rubbishing claims made using its software.

A spokesperson told The Huffington Post UK: “How-old.net was designed to be an example of how developers could build a fun app using modern development practices.

“It is not intended to be used as a definitive assessment of age.”