The Case of the Murdered Goats, exploring Germany’s Far-Right Rumor Mill

Published on Spiegel Online International, by Matthias Bartsch and Anna Clauß, Jan 5, 2016.

Absurd, unfounded reports about asylum seekers are circulating on German social media. They are part of a targeted misinformation campaign by right-wing extremists designed to instill fear and stoke anti-migrant sentiment. But where do the stories come from?  

“Shameful!!!!” Four exclamation points punctuated a recent Facebook post, in which a user expressed outrage over an incident in the eastern German town of Lostau. Locals had accused refugees of plundering a petting zoo, slaughtering some goats and eating them around a campfire.

The story aimed directly at the heart of German animal lovers, taxpayers and immigration opponents. But there was just one problem: It wasn’t true … //

… Tracing the Trail: … //
… A Very Common Pattern: … //
… Lending Authenticity: … //
… More Intense from Post to Post: … //

… So why do even well educated people take such fabrications at face value? Rumors spread particularly easy when they seem to confirm stereotypes that already exist in society, says the Leipzig-based social psychologist Immo Fritsche. A part of the population obviously regards asylum seekers as being predisposed to crime and willing to exploit most people’s good nature. Strategically placed gossip that reinforces this sentiment is particularly effective in times of uncertainty, according to the psychologist.

That some people’s threshold for turning to violence can be lowered if they feel strengthened in their xenophobic stereotypes is one of Keilen’s fears too. He has dealt with far-right extremism for nearly 25 years, but things haven’t been as serious as they are at the moment since the early 1990s. “Things escalate thanks to the Internet,” says Keilen. “And some people blindly take the stories for the truth. They radicalize themselves to such an extent that they are no longer receptive to rational arguments.”

(full text).


Govt aid was sold off by traders, RT reports from besieged Madaya, on RT, Jan 12, 2016;

In Madaya Syria, 400 residents must leave for medical treatment, on BBCnews, Jan 12, 2016;

Inequality: What can be done? interview with Sir Anthony Barnes Atkinson, on IEET, by Hank Pellissier, Ethical Technology, le 11 janv 2016;

Claim of media cover-up on Cologne sex attacks is nonsense, on The Irish Times, by Derek Scally, Jan 11, 2016: Allegation is classic case of truthiness – something that must be true and therefore is. The mainstream media engaged in an outrageous cover-up of the attacks against women by Arab-speaking men on New Year’s Eve in Cologne. So it is alleged. In the first days of January, the claim spread through social media as quickly as details of the shocking attacks in the western German city Yes, there were problems with the mainstream media coverage …;

UK – Citizen’s income is an idea whose time has come, on The Guardian, Letters to the Editor, Jan 10, 2016;

Einwanderung, Finanzmafia & Facebook Zensur Innenpolitik 2015, 46.48 min, von Nora Markova am 10. Jan 2016 hochgeladen;

Schizophrénie, un espoir avec le régime cétogène, dans La, le 10 janvier 2016: Le régime cétogène peut-il aider les schizophrènes à retrouver une vie normale? C’est l’espoir que fait naître une étude australienne publiée dans la revue Schizophrenia Research;
(dans fr.wikipedia: cétogènèse et schizophrénie;
on en.wikipedia: ketogenesis and schizophrenia

HREA, the global human rights education and training centre /Human Rights Campus – Log In (de, en, es, fr, pt-br, pt): … for full access to courses you’ll need to take a minute to create a new account for yourself on this web site. Each of the individual courses may also have a one-time “enrolment key”, which you won’t need until later. Here are the steps: …;

Je lutte donc je suis (version longue) – un film de Yannis Youlountas, 105.03 min, uploaded by Parisi Athina, Dec 27, 2015 … version internet.
Yannis Youlountas in english: see List of French philosophers;

… and this:

Flying Scotsman back on tracks after £4.2m restoration, on The Scotsman, by Aéastair Dalton, Jan 8, 2016;


The Flying Scotsman:

  • the Flying Scotsman (train) is an express passenger train (Inter-city rail) service that has been running between Edinburgh and London—the capitals of Scotland and England respectively—since 1862. It is currently operated by Virgin Trains East Coast …;
  • the LNER Class A3 4472 Flying Scotsman (locomotive): the LNER Class A3 Pacific steam locomotive No. 4472 Flying Scotsman (originally No. 1472) was built in 1923 for the London and North Eastern Railway (LNER) at Doncaster Works to a design of H.N. Gresley.

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