NEWS: On 12 November 2015, a number of web sites published a video purportedly showing Muslim refugees engaging in various acts of violence. One of the most popular iterations was published on the web site BuzzPo under the title “This Is The Most Disturbing Muslim ‘Refugee’ Video You Will Ever See”:
It’s time for Americans to wake up and see what really happens when you let thousands of Muslim refugees into your country.
Don’t let what’s happening in Europe happen to us! Share this video to help spread the word.
While the above-displayed video does contain some real footage of the refugee crisis in Europe, it also contains several completely unrelated clips. But before we get to those specific pieces of misinformation, let’s examine where the video came from, why it was made, and how it spread across the internet.
This video was originally uploaded to the “Politically Incorrect,” or /pol/, section of the web site 8chan on 9 November 2015 by a user named “Gex.” The original thread introducing the propaganda piece “With Gates Wide Open: The forced collective suicide of European nations — Extended Cinematic” has been deleted, but a cached version of the page revealed some insight into Gex’s motive:
Due to the tremendous success of the last cultural enrichment compilation, I’ve released a new one, thrice the length and with more editing.
Almost 20 minutes of what the left fears most: Reality.
I urge you to download and mirror the video immediately. Spread it everywhere. Use jDownloader für best results
Editing takes a lot of time and work. I’m a student and I gain nothing out of this except the good feeling of people receiving a dose of reality.
So if you want to make a small contribution, you can do it with BTC, it would be much appreciated.
Several users commended Gex for his propaganda (while the video can certainly be labeled as anti-refugee propaganda, it should be noted that that label was first applied by the users of 8chan) and praised the video as exemplary redpilling:
“This is why videos like OP’s are the best for redpilling. They don’t go all in. They are normalf*g friendly. This is how you redpill. Great work Gex.”
Redpill is a reference to the movie The Matrix where the main character Neo has to choose the red pill and accept reality, or the blue bill and deny reality. With regards to the above-displayed video, 8chan is attempting to redpill (i.e., convince), online users that the “With Gates Wide Open” video depicts the reality of the refugee crisis.
But before they can do this, they have to make sure that the video goes viral:
Shortly after the video was released, Operation Avalanche started in order to ensure that the video was picked up by the media. Users were instructed to share the video via social media and email it to any outlet that would likely publish it:
With the recent release of GEX’s Masterful Propaganda Piece, It’s fallen to us to ensure it survives the coming week and recieves enough attention to weather it past Social Media sliding. Thus, the necessity of this operation.
if you tweet/post the video on social media use the hashtag #withopengates
All tweets with the video or a link to it must have #withopengates to push the hashtag. An Additional hashtag could be possible but we need to keep it focused on just one or two. If we use too many the focus wont be concentrated where it needs to be.
Don’t just push the video either, be sure to post/tweet about other stories, articles, and videos showing migrants being animals or violent heathens. This isn’t our main objective but it will help supplement our claims both by showing additional evidence other than the video to counter claims its fake, and by showing we aren’t a bunch of bot accounts shilling for this video.
Good hashtag here would be (be sure to include #withopengates) #refugeecrisis
And I encourage you to send the video to journalists, news agencies, government officials if you can, city council members, and anyone else you can think of. I don’t care if they are mainstream or alternative we need to send this everywhere. But be sure to frame it in an appropriate manner. Someone on the right would work with it if you sent “this video is spot on” an SJW would probably need something like “I find this offensive to those poor poor refugees” bloggers,youtube personalities anybody. Just frame it in a way that they will talk about it.
While 8Chan consists of individual users and doesn’t have one collective voice, it’s clear that the video was made in an attempt to stir up fear about refugees. And while the users insist that they are helping people swallow the red pill and see the reality of the situation, the above-displayed video contains several clips unrelated to the refugee crisis in Europe.
There was a clear agenda behind the “With Gates Wide Open” video. While some real footage of Muslim refugees is used, several deceptive practices were employed in the editing of the film. For instance, many of the individual shots used in the film appear on screen for only a few brief moments, which makes it difficult to determine the contexts of those scenes.
Take the clip shown at the 7:43 mark, for example. The audio comes from a man talking about how he is afraid to walk down the street due to the growing refugee population, while the visual shows someone being attacked. In the context of the video it is reasonable to assume that the man is being attacked by refugees, but that is not the case. Instead of showing refugees attacking an innocent civilian, the clip actually shows two Slovakian migrant workers who were attacked by leftist activist in Stockholm:
Similarly, a clip at the 7:51 mark that is played as the narrator talks about “crime skyrocketing” has nothing to do with refugees. The clip comes from a 2013 incident in which soccer fans rioted following Paris Saint-Germain’s first French league title in 19 years.
The video also uses previously debunked footage purportedly showing Muslims on a train in Germany in 2015. That piece of footage actually came from France and was first uploaded to YouTube in 2010, before the current Syrian refugee crisis began:
The “With Gates Wide Open” video features glimpses of violence in cities across the world. While the video is edited to make it seem as though all of the incidents involve refugees in Europe, that is simply not the case.