A news article took the internet by storm last week claiming that large supermarket chain ASDA were planning to ban the sale of pork and alcohol related products in Muslim majority areas, a claim they have since denied.
The article, “Asda to remove pork and alcohol in high Muslim population areas”, published March 4th by an obscure news website, suggested that in a bid to present themselves as more inclusive and multi-cultural, the retailer had agreed to prohibit the items.
Despite carrying an explicit disclaimer at the bottom of the article clearly stating the news article was entirely fabricated it was picked up by 46k shares across social media platforms Facebook and Twitter.
A poll below the post that asked, “Should more shops refuse to sell alcohol and pork related products?” received an astounding 14k votes for NO, accounting for 95% of the votes, which clearly demonstrates the general disagreement with the decision. Only 800 people voted in favour of banning the produce.
Asda took to twitter to dispel the rumours and make their stance clear on pork and alcohol: unsurprisingly, they will continue to sell it. The Bristol UKIP group were one of the many groups to tweet the article without reading it in full to verify that it was falsified by the writers of the website as a tongue-ink-cheek joke.
Embarrassingly enough for the British right-wing, a number of far-right groups shared the story in attempts to rally support for their cause. This comes as a similar report circulated the internet than the English Defence League and former leader Tommy Robinson shared fake news regarding a well-known pub chain trialling a “Muslim friendly” day without questioning it’s authenticity.
As we reported last week, the emergence of spoof news websites has led to much confusion amongst internet users who are unlikely to validate sources, instead believing anything they read on the internet.