13 Times Misinformation Spread During The French Presidential Campaign

Fake tweets, doctored photos, and twisted claims.

It's presidential election season in France, and since it's 2017, that comes with a hefty dose of rumors, hoaxes, and fake news spread over social media. We have rounded up some of the misinformation going around during the campaign.

1. This false claim that independent frontrunner Emmanuel Macron's campaign is funded by Saudi Arabia.

2. This old photo repurposed to claim that a firefighter was assaulted by "thugs" and the media ignored the story.

3. This false Figaro poll showing Marine Le Pen in the lead.

4. This fake tweet, which shows Marine Le Pen shocked by a "veil" worn by a little girl in a Russian cartoon.

5. This doctored photo that purports to show far-left candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon wearing a Rolex.

6. And this false claim that Mélenchon once praised the far-right National Front.

7. This fake photo of a wounded police officer.

8. This Facebook post claiming that the Breton lighthouse in Paris was demolished in order to build housing for migrants.

9. This twisted claim that Socialist candidate Benoît Hamon has been indicted and the media is ignoring it.

Boum : Benoît Hamon vient d’être mis en examen (évidemment, silence média) https://t.co/FLNfotfEdf

In early March, Louis Aliot, vice president of the National Front, shared a Dreuz.info article on Twitter that said Benoît Hamon had been indicted. Aliot was especially outraged by the "media silence" on the development. He accused journalists of having double standards for presidential candidates — Fillon and Le Pen have been indicted over misappropriation of public funds. Hamon ~has~ been indicted, but the indictment dates back to Dec. 7, 2016, and is over an "insult toward an individual" rather than anything to do with corruption. (In France, when someone files a complaint against you for an insult or libel, you get automatically indicted. Many public figures have been indicted for libel or insult.)

10. This false claim that people chanted "Jews, thieves, murderers" at a demonstration against the National Front.

11. This false photo of police officers undergoing a "training course of Arab culture."

12. This photo of an empty room used to mock Emmanuel Macron (which was actually taken at an event for François Fillon).

Alors, euh, comment dire ? C'est moi qui ai pris cette photo et c'était au meeting de Fillon à Toulouse. Ou alors j… https://t.co/GSvRHDkcgp

Sébastien Foy, a local official who supports François Fillon, tweeted (and then deleted) a photo showing what he said was an empty room at a campaign event for Emmanuel Macron. One can see the black curtains concealing part of the empty rows. Here's the problem: At the back of the room, you can clearly see a photo of François Fillon.

13. This false claim about Macron's "fictitious rent tax."

For more rumors, hoaxes, and fake news circulating during the French election, visit Crosscheck, a collaborative debunking partnership between BuzzFeed News and other media organizations.

This post was translated from French.

Topics in this article

Skip to footer