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Malicious Hoax Falsely Claims 'Baby Attacked by Asian Youth'

Circulating message featuring an image of a baby with what appears to be a badly beaten face linked to a supposed news article that claimed that the pictured baby was punched and thrown against a wall by "an Asian youth".  


© Toh

Brief Analysis
The contents of the article are heinous and racially motivated lies perpetrated by a pathetic publication called The Daily Bale. The assault described did not take place. The story was plagiarized from a real, but unrelated, incident that occurred in 2005 and changed to suit the goals of the author.  And the image of the child used in the hoax message was stolen from a petition against child abuse. The creators of The Daily Bale continually fabricate malicious and damaging stories as a means of fostering their own twisted political agenda. 

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Baby Punched Hoax

Detailed Analysis

A circulating social media message featuring an image depicting a small baby with an injured face includes the headline "Asian yob attacks 2 month old baby". A link in the message pointed to a supposed news article published on a British blog named "The Daily Bale".  The article - which it appears has now been removed from the website - describes an alleged attack in Middlesbrough, UK in which a baby was punched in the face and thrown against a brick wall by an "Asian youth" of "Muslim origin".

However, the claims in the article are deliberate lies created to foster the bigoted, far-right agenda of the Daily Bale's owners. The attack described did not take place. The article plagiarises a news report of a real – but totally unrelated – incident in 2005 and skews it to suit its author's purposes.

 The Northern Echo reports:
A HOAX story about a baby beating in Teesside which has swept across the Internet – and appears to be racially motivated – is being investigated by police.

Cleveland Police said there was no truth in a report - which has gone viral on social media networks - that said a two-month-old white baby was punched in the face and thrown against a wall by an Asian youth in a Teesside street.

In fact, the story appears to be loosely based on a 2005 incident in which a ten-month-old Asian baby was punched in the face and chest by a drunken white youth in Middlesbrough.

Moreover, the image of the baby used in the article was stolen from a petition page about child abuse.

Thus, the author of the article is so debased and unethical that he or she is apparently willing, not only to tell outright and wilful lies, but to steal an unrelated image of an injured baby and use it as "evidence".   All just to promote a vile and bigoted worldview. And, virtually everything published on the site is in a similar vein. Other articles speak in sickening terms about people with intellectual disabilities. And on a regular basis, the site falsely accuses people it apparently perceives as enemies of being paedophiles or engaging in other criminal activities.

In August 2013, the site spread a malicious and totally unfounded rumour claiming that a Leicester, UK hotel had banned British military personnel from entering their premises for fear of upsetting local non-British customers. The fake story caused a furore online and staff at the pub received threatening and abusive phone calls. In fact, the hotel had to be closed for a short time for security reasons. And - true to form - the author of the piece used a picture stolen from a totally unrelated source.

Even other rightist groups in Britain have condemned the Daily Bale. The British Patriots Society noted on its Facebook Page:

Please be aware that the "Daily Bale" page and website is a troll page, and their stories are fabricated. Before you post anything it's always worthwhile to check it out yourself just to make sure it's true but I doubt very much that you'll find any of the stories from the Daily Bale that are true!

And the English Defence League posted the following disclaimer on its Facebook Page:

Please note that the latest article from the Daily Bale regarding a baby being assaulted is not true. The picture of the baby is from a petition on the site relating to child abuse. Please do not post the link for the article on FB

While a healthy democratic society must leave room for strident voices, in this writer's opinion, publications like the Daily Bale well and truly cross the line. Any group that feels compelled to tell outright lies and spread malicious and damaging rumours to promote a particular worldview is not only contemptible, but actually rather pathetic.  A group that uses such tactics loses every shred of credibility.

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Last updated: September 16, 2013
First published: September 16, 2013
Written by Brett M. Christensen
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