23 Oct 2013 - Article No: 1783
Amy Hamilton Missing Person Poster - Internet/Facebook Rumour
The above image is circulating Facebook that claims 6 year old girl called Amy Hamilton has been kidnapped from the Croydon area. The image shows an image of a young girl and asserts it is believed she was kidnapped by an “Asian grooming gang”. The image also provides a phone number that apparently belongs to a group named Daily Bale Investigations.
The image is completely false and should not be circulated. According to fellow debunking site Hoax-Slayer, as far as they could tell there are no missing children in the UK with that name. The picture of the girl within the image is in fact not a photo at all but a painting stolen from a Flickr account from a user called Anita Stanhope who identifies the girl as the grandchild of a South African Flickr member.
In fact the entire image is actually just a fabrication created by an extremist group known as the "Daily Bale Investigations" (Brits Against Left-Wing Extremism), a far-right, extremist racist group that prolifically circulates lies across the Internet in order to promote their twisted, bigoted outlook. The Daily Bale were responsible for causing a pub to temporarily close by falsely asserting they do not serve British soldiers (which ended in legal action) and they also fabricated a story about Asian men attacking a young child.
The phone number attached to the poster actually is the number for an Insurance company with no ties or connections to either the girl in the photo or the Daily Bale.
Again, thanks to Hoax-Slayer for spotting it, the Daily Bale even brag about how often their fake poster is shared across Facebook. Via their Twitter account.
The Daily Bale is a vile, extremist group that openly circulate lies to promote a racist agenda and it is important never to spread anything that they create.
The Internet, and social networking sites like Facebook, are perfect platforms for spreading untruths, misinformation, rumor and propaganda. Thousands of inaccurate, exaggerated, deceptive or just plain false messages are circulated every single day.
For the anti-scam community to successfully tackle this plethora of false rumours, it is important that anyone who uses the Internet be able to identify false rumours and fully understands the possible consequences of spreading false information.
We have a two part blog post that helps provide this information. Part 1 deals with how to spot and debunk Internet rumours and Part 2 deals with the reasons why you should never circulate false information.
Additionally if you have fallen for this rumour or have Facebook friends that have, you can join our growing Facebook page here.