I have google alerts set to refugees.
Which means I get an email every day with a sweep of the web on anything that comes up with “refugee” mentioned.
I haven’t even dented the pile of news articles, blogs, and other random web findings surfacing the word refugee that I move to a folder to read later each day.
I opened the google alert for yesterday and saw a title that caught my eye.
I clicked on the Fox News article. I read it. I read it because it sounded odd.
Syrian refugees? Why mention that specific people group? Knowing UK immigration and asylum situations, it stood out as improbable. Also, I had been reading BBC all weekend and nothing refugee-related had come up in relation to the terrorist investigation.
I read the Fox article. It mentioned NOTHING about Syrian refugees in the article.
In fact, the article stated that the couple whose home was raded had taken in hundreds of foster children in the last 40 years. Presumably the 18 year old responsible for the London attacks had been one of the foster children in their home.
There was nothing in the article about him being Syrian or a refugee and nothing about their home being for refugees. It was a home for foster children in the UK.
Why did my google alerts have this title?
How many people are going to read the title and say “See! This is why we shouldn’t allow refugees to come here?”
A lie that will fuel fear and prejudice towards people fleeing conflict.
Yesterday I was advising a group of people about hosting a refugee awareness event and one of the ladies got incensed and stormed out of the meeting. Her anger? The data from the State Department on how refugees are resettled here. All lies she said. “Refugees came in unvetted.” She had read it online.
I am not sure why the online article I pulled came up in google alerts with a title the article didn’t have and with false information that was not in the article nor true in real life.
Filter and think carefully what you read.
Read the whole article and not just the title. And believe reliable sources.
Check reliable sources.
Post-truth does a disservice to everyone.