Trump Supporters Beat Muslim Man for Raping 13-Year-Old Girl-Fiction!
Summary of eRumor:
President Donald Trump supporters in Ohio beat a Muslim man who raped a 13-year-old girl, and a photo of the man’s injuries went viral in May 2017.
This photo shows a man who was beaten for protesting outside a mosque in Egypt in 2013 — not a Muslim man who was beaten by Trump supporters for raping a 13-year-old in Ohio.
That rumor first surfaced at RedInfo.us, a website based in Veles, Macedonia, that’s known for spreading fake U.S. political news. The post appeared under the broken headline, “BREAKING: This is American Muslim Who Rape 13 Years Old Girl in Ohio, He Was Beaten by Trump Supporter. Do You Support This?”
The post was re-reported and shared by a network Macedonian websites and social media handles that became known for spreading fake news during the 2016 presidential election. Buzzfeed News launched an investigation that found teenagers and young adults in Veles experienced “a digital gold rush” after launching nearly 150 websites with American-sounding names like USADailyPolitics.com, WorldPoliticsus.com and TrumpVision365.com, just to name a few:
The young Macedonians who run these sites say they don’t care about Donald Trump. They are responding to straightforward economic incentives: As Facebook regularly reveals in earnings reports, a US Facebook user is worth about four times a user outside the US. The fraction-of-a-penny-per-click of US display advertising — a declining market for American publishers — goes a long way in Veles. Several teens and young men who run these sites told BuzzFeed News that they learned the best way to generate traffic is to get their politics stories to spread on Facebook — and the best way to generate shares on Facebook is to publish sensationalist and often false content that caters to Trump supporters.
Reports that Trump supporters beat an American Mulsim man who raped a 13-year-old girl spread across this network of fake news sites operated out of Macedonia. In reality, the photo shows a man who was beaten by members of the Muslim Brotherhood in 2013 for protesting outside a mosque in Cairo, Egypt, Fox News reported, via MidEast Christian News:
“They accompanied me to one of the mosques in the area and I discovered the mosque was being used to imprison demonstrators and torture them,” Amir Ayad, a Coptic who has been a vocal protester against the regime, told MidEast Christian News from a hospital bed.
Ayad said he was beaten for hours with sticks before being left for dead on a roadside. Amir’s brother, Ezzat Ayad, said he received an anonymous phone call at 3 a.m. Saturday, with the caller saying his brother had been found near death and had been taken to the ambulance.
“He underwent radiation treatment that proved that he suffered a fracture in the bottom of his skull, a fracture in his left arm, a bleeding in the right eye, and birdshot injuries,” Ezzat Ayad said.
In the end, this false report was kindled by a notorious network of fake news sites operating out of Eastern Europe.