After posting an article which claimed that as many as 300,000 illegal immigrants were living in the French city of Saint-Denis, the Daily Mail suffered a brutal take-down thanks to the former director of the Association against Islamophobia in France, Marwan Muhammad. Not only has the article’s author, Andrew Malone, since deleted his Twitter account (@katiba1171) – the Daily Mail has removed the article altogether.
In a 15-point Twitter schooling posted on 4 August, Muhammad picked the Daily Mail’s article to pieces. His first tweet, which has been liked over 29,000 times, reads:
We too in France have tabloids who couldn’t care less about the truth, but I really have to say: you’re in a league of your own. Everything in your paper is wrong.
Hello @MailOnline. I've read your "devastating" article on "illegal migrants in Saint Denis". We too in France have tabloïds who couldn't care less about the truth, but I really have to say: you're in a league of your own. Everything in your paper is wrong. A fact checking: 👇🏽 pic.twitter.com/zWiqlffxsP
— Marwan Muhammad (@_MarwanMuhammad) August 4, 2018
And the quality of journalism in the article is, indeed, quite astonishing.
Here are some of the article’s worst clangers that Muhammad points out:
- The article’s central claim that “as many as 300,000 illegal immigrants” live in Saint-Denis is almost three times greater than the total population of Saint-Denis, which is roughly 110,733.
- Throughout the article, the author confuses the city of ‘Saint-Denis’ with the relatively massive department of ‘Seine-Saint-Denis’, which includes 40 cities. There is no evidence to support a claim that “as many as 300,000 illegal immigrants” live in either.
- The author claims that one Saint Denis resident’s personal items were “clearly stolen from tourists or Parisians”, without providing any evidence whatsoever.
- ‘The Muslims have cancelled Christmas’ argument appears within the article. No further comment is required here.
- French politician Jean-Louis Borloo, founder of the centre-right Union of Democrats and Independents (UDI) party, is falsely described as a “left-winger”. This information could have been quickly found on Wikipedia – a platform that has incidentally banned the Daily Mail as an “unreliable” source.
One Twitter user mocked the story by sharing some recent “terrifying” images from Saint-Denis:
Random snaps from a recent afternoon in St. Denis. Terrifying. pic.twitter.com/QxU4w9GdJe
— HughSykes (@HughSykes) August 4, 2018
And the Stop Funding Hate campaign outed the advertisers attempting to score profits off the hate campaigns of the Daily Mail:
Not so funny
While the Daily Mail’s mediocrity is laughable, it reflects a not-so-funny side of the British press that prefers anti-immigrant sensationalism to factual evidence. And despite the inaccuracies, many Daily Mail readers will find their worldview affirmed by the tabloid’s depiction of immigrants.
And this article was far from the exception. In 2015, for example, the Daily Mail published a cartoon that likened immigrants to vermin. This was a tactic of dehumanisation used by the Nazis, who the Mail actually supported in the 1930s.
Given the Daily Mail‘s apparently minimal commitment to journalistic integrity, it is not surprising that the UK written press was ranked the least trusted of 33 European countries in 2016. Online news did not rank much better.
Muhammad’s take-down of the Daily Mail shows us the way to confront the rise of the anti-immigration right – with the truth.
– Support independent journalism by becoming a member of The Canary.
Featured image via Mikey/Flickr
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?