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Digital Subscriptions > Newsweek International > 9th June 2017 > THE BOT WHO CRIED WOLF

THE BOT WHO CRIED WOLF

How Germany is cracking down on fake news

FAKE NEWS

THE STORY PLAYED on some of Germany’s worst fears.

Just after 1 a.m. on New Year’s Day, in a crowded bar in Frankfurt, a group of roughly 50 “Arab” men, as the bar’s owner, Jan Mai, later said, stumbled in and soon began to dance, push and grope female customers, some of them putting their hands up the women’s skirts.

It was a “sex mob,” involving “masses” of migrants, or at least that’s how Bild, a popular German tabloid, described it after an interview with Mai. The story went viral on social media after rightwing outlets like Breitbart News picked it up.

The only witness in the Bild story besides Mai was “Irina A.,” a woman in her 20s, who did not give Bild her last name but offered vivid details of how she was allegedly assaulted. “I can be happy that I wore sheer tights,” she told the paper. “They grabbed me under the skirt, between my legs, my breasts, everywhere.”

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About Newsweek International

THE FOREVER WAR: WHY ISIS IS SENDING IT'S KILLERS TO THE WEST Oralando, Nice, Paris, Brussels, Berlin, Würzburg, Ansbach, Munich, London and now Manchester. The pattern is becoming depressingly familiar. The news breaks with blurry cellphone footage pedestrians strolling on a seaside promenade, shoppers enjoying a Christmas market, excited kids leaving a pop concert. Then come the gunshots, a rampaging truck or the jolting explosion followed by panic, people running, inert bodies. Within the hour, politicians are on the air with a litany of condemnations and condolences. The reality is, until the West crushes ISIS’s ideology, bombings like the one in Manchester are going to continue and maybe become more common.
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