- A widely shared poster makes exaggerated and false claims to rile the emotions of the message target. The claims are false. But the assertion encourages everyone else to “get on the bandwagon!” and join us!
- Claim: Hundreds of thousands of Poles are protesting against a “Muslim invasion”, the largest protest in Poland’s history, and the media never covered the event.
- Method: Assertion, exaggeration, get-on-the-bandwagon
What Actually Happened
- Poland held its annual National Independence Day in mid-November 2015; the photograph used in the poster is of the Independence Day celebration.
- The event was held two days before the attacks in Paris – but this poster appeared after those attacks suggesting this “protest” occurred after the attack.
- As in any large event, many protest groups joined the event, including a large group opposed to immigration into Poland, in general. Some of the protesters came from other countries.
- The event was covered by the media: Irish Times, EuroNews and others.
- Depending on the version of this story that appears online, there were 25,000 people, 70,000 people, 170,000 people or “hundreds of thousands” of protesters. The police estimated about 25,000 people took part.
- The red light in the photo comes from lit flares that participants were carrying. The red lights and smoke add to the drama by suggesting riots are underway and objects are being set on fire.
- Original example photo used in the poster is here.
- Here is what online myth debunker Snopes.com has to say.
Why This Works as Propaganda
To the target of this propaganda, this appears to show a photo of enormous anti-immigration/anti-Muslim sentiment and is essentially a “get on the bandwagon” propaganda message – hey, everyone is doing it so its okay for you to join us. The false claim that the media have ignored this event adds suspicion and intrigue – hey, everyone is behind this movement but “they” do not want you to know about it!
Protesters against immigration in general joined the National Independence Day celebration in Poland. A photo of the overall Independence Day celebration was presented as a photo of the protesters, and was claimed to be against “the Muslim invasion of Europe”. The poster further claimed there was no media coverage of this event, which is false.
Text for search indexing
Did you know about this??? This week Polish patriots marched against the Muslim invasion of Europe, in what was the biggest demonstration in the history of Poland. There was not a single report in the mainstream European media.