On November 29 2017, U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted videos originally posted by Jayda Fransen, deputy leader of the far right political group Britain First who was jailed in 2018 for anti-Muslim hate crimes and religiously aggravated harassment.
The videos are provocatively labeled “Muslim migrant beats up Dutch boy on crutches!” and “Islamist mob pushes teenage boy off roof and beats him to death!”
But do these videos actually show what they claim?
Video Shows “Muslim Migrant” Attacking Dutch Boy on Crutches
False. An attack on a Dutch boy on crutches is captured in the first video, but the attacker is not a “Muslim migrant.” He’s a 16-year-old Dutch boy from Edam-Volendam.
The video was originally posted at Dumpert, a Dutch photo and video sharing website. It’s not clear why the boy on crutches was attacked. But police used the video to track down the attacker and a 16-year-old boy who shot the video. Both were arrested, the Dutch newspaper Telegraraf reported in May 2017.
After Trump retweet, Dumpert goaded him in a followup post. That post calls the president’s retweet “fake news” and said the attacker was not a Muslim or an immigrant. A remark about the attacker being Muslim that appears in the original post’s comment section led to the video being mislabeled.
The Public Prosecution Service of North Netherlands weighed in, as well. Through its official Twitter account, the office said that the video shows an altercation between two local boys.
Video Shows “Islamist Mob” Pushing Teenage Boy From Roof
Decontextualized. A second video that Trump retweeted bore the caption: “VIDEO: Islamist mob pushes teenage boy off roof and beats him to death!”
This video was shot in Alexandria, Egypt, in 2013. It shows several supporters of President Mohamed Morsi attacking a group of teenagers:
As Muslim Brotherhood supporters rained stones and birdshot on demonstrators huddled at the opposite end of a busy street, Hamada Badr raced to the roof of a six-story apartment block to get a better view.
Some said 17-year-old Hamada and three teenage friends lobbed rocks at the pro-Brotherhood mob below. His friends denied this. But there is little dispute about what happened next.
Several Islamists chased after them, reached the roof and, to the horror of onlookers, threw three of the teens off the building in quick succession. Two fell 20 feet from a water tower to the main roof below and survived with injuries. A third escaped by clambering down a water pipe along the side of the building. But Hamada plummeted all the way to the ground, dying of severe internal bleeding at a hospital shortly afterward, friends said.
In this case, the description is is misleading; it states no circumstances nor details of the attack and instead leaves the viewer to draw their own conclusions about where and when it took place. While the first claim is outright false and the second merely decontextualized, the overall effect is deliberately misleading. For these reasons, we rate these claims Not True.