Tag: viral

‘Amy Hamilton’ Right Wing Racist Viral Hoax

This in the Independent today…

Missing ‘Amy Hamilton’ poster circulating on social media revealed as racist right-wing propaganda hoax

A poster appealing for help finding “missing” six-year-old girl Amy Hamilton has been shared thousands of times on social media – despite being a racist hoax by a right-wing propaganda group.

The fake appeal uses a painting taken from a Flickr account to represent the fictional little girl, and underneath it includes the message: “It is believed Amy has been kidnapped by an Asian grooming gang.”

The poster is the work of the right-wing group Britons against Left-Wing Extremism (Bale), and was first spread as if it were genuine by the organisation’s blog and social media accounts branded the Daily Bale.

Last year the Croydon Advertiser revealed that there was no Amy Hamilton, and that Daily Bale editor Steven Sodholmy believed he was “raising awareness… about the harsh reality of Asian grooming gangs”.

Yet that has not stopped the “missing” poster resurfacing, and this week it has been shared thousands of times on Twitter and Facebook.

One social media user who tweeted the image later wrote: “Turns out that pic was a hoax! I had no idea when I posted it!” He added that it was nonetheless “refreshing to see so many people care enough about someone they never met”.

Posting on at the weekend, Facebook user Chris Jopp said: “A friend shared this and I had to tell her it was a hoax.” Another, Lisa Charman, said: “Yep, I just got this hoax today in my newsfeed.”

When the fake appeal was first being shared, Daily Bale contributor Joshua Bonehill tweeted: “An amazing 5000 people shared our Amy Hamilton, Missing poster on Facebook. Lets (sic) hope they catch the Asians responsible for taking her.”

Mr Sodholmy said: “The poster and the 20,000 that shared it on Facebook were informed about the harsh reality of Asian grooming gangs that have been operating in the Croydon area of London now for some time.”

But Croydon police told the Advertiser: “These types of hoax appeals are, at best, extremely unhelpful and distasteful and can potentially divert public attention away from genuine appeals.

“We rely on the support of the public and media to help us when we release appeals to find our most vulnerable missing people.

“The support we get for these appeals is fantastic, but these hoaxes can really damage the effectiveness of genuine appeals.”

Read in The Independent

Confirmed Viral Events for 2012/13

  • There are a number of confirmed events related to Virality that might be of interest to readers of this blog.

    Following the academic launch of Virality at Goldsmiths College in October and the launch party with Mute Magazine in Limehouse last Friday (more on that collaboration soon in another post), I will be joining Jussi Parikka at the School of Arts and Humanities (Culture, Media and Creative Industries) Kings College, London on the 20th March (this new date is penciled in replacing the Feb 6th) for our “Anomalies, Archaeology and Contagion” talk and discussion followed by a wine reception for both Virality and Jussi’s What is Media Archaeology?

    There’s an interesting event at the University of East London (School of Arts and Digital Industries) in Feb where I’m planning to do a piece on “Viral Love and the Underground Man.” The “Love Slam” event is on the 14th Feb 6-9pm.

    As part of an ongoing series of collaborations with artists and musicians I’ve been working with the “crowd” artist Dean Todd on a performance piece for Virality which will be exhibited at the “Bookworks” show between April 8-19th, also at the University of East London.

    On April 11th 2013 I will visit the Copenhagen Business School to do a talk called “Putting the Neuron Doctrine to Work.” This is for an invite to a public lecture series called “Public Sphere, Crowd Sentiments and the Brain.”

    I have a provisional working title for a confirmed invite to the Department of Sociology and Communications at Brunel University on May 24th. “Too Much Connectivity” will form part of the “New Media and the Internet: Digital Democracy or Complex Chaos?” series of workshops.

    Between July 1-3rd we (Darren Ellis, John Cromby, Lewis Goodings, Tony Sampson, and Ian Tuckerare) are off to the Fourth International and Interdisciplinary Conference on Emotional Geographies at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands to run a couple of seminars called “Leaking Affects and Mediated Spaces.”

    Finally, there are a few other events in the pipeline including a contribution to an exhibit at the Berlin Transmediale Festival in Jan-Feb 2013, and a series of workshops at the University of Bern in Switzerland on the subject of the Immunologic. More details to follow.

Viral Facebook party turns into a riot…

Following on from recent posts on the English Riots and the response to anti-Islam video across the Middle East here’s another example of the intriguing overlap between network culture and crowd contagion.

As reported in The Independent… See also BBC video.

Teen’s ‘Facebook party’ turns into riot in Netherlands.

Thousands of revelers descended on a small Dutch town sparking a riot after a party invitation posted on Facebook went viral, authorities said today.

Prosecutor Hessel Schuth said 34 people were arrested last night and in the early hours of this morning and would be prosecuted for public order offenses. Several people were injured, but none were believed to be seriously hurt.

“Scum ran amok in our town,” said Rob Bats, mayor of Haren, 185 kilometers (115 miles) north of Amsterdam.

“An innocent invitation on Facebook for a party led to serious rioting, destruction, plundering, arson and injuries in the middle of Haren,” he said.

Bats said an initial analysis showed a core group of rioters “were very violent and well-prepared and deliberately sought confrontation” with hundreds of police who had been dispatched to the town amid fears of trouble.

Dutch media reported that the party originally was planned as a small celebration by a 16-year-old girl but her invitation went viral when she posted it on Facebook.

Some of the people arriving in Haren on Friday wore T-shirts emblazoned with “Project X Haren,” a reference to the film Project X that portrayed an out-of-control party.

On Saturday, another Facebook group sprang up called Project Clean-X Haren, urging people to help clear up the debris littering the town’s streets.

Again from the BBC

Revellers could be seen wearing T-shirts marked “Project X Haren” after Project X – a film released earlier this year about a party that grows out of control.

Such T-shirts had been selling on the internet for 23 euros (£18; $30) apiece. Some featured a crude logo of a man on all fours drinking from a bottle, AFP notes.