Fake news follows the migrant caravan

Misinformation and false statements are spreading online over the raging migrant caravan travelling towards the United States. Thousands of migrants have got as far as Mexico after the caravan which set out from Honduras has travelled north and grown in size.

Misinformation and false statements are spreading online over the raging migrant caravan travelling towards the United States. Thousands of migrants have got as far as Mexico after the caravan which set out from Honduras has travelled north and grown in size. The caravan's progress towards the US southern border has become the subject of intense speculation and discussion on social media. It has led to the spread of a number of false or misleading assertions. Some of the many claims are:

1. Unknown middle eastern are on the caravan: Though President Donald Trump had asserted that "unknown Middle Easterners" were "mixed in" with the caravan heading north, he retreated and said that there is no proof of the claim. His initial assertion came shortly after Fox and Friends host Pete Hegseth reported claims that Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales had told a local newspaper they had caught more than 100 Islamic State group fighters in the country.

2. The caravan is funded by the Democrats and George Soros: Republican congressman Matt Gaetz tweeted a video in which he showed Hondurans being paid to join the migrant caravan. He also suggested that George Soros, who is something of a villain in the eyes of many on the right, might be behind the payments for the caravan. Vice president of government affairs at Campbell Soup, Kelly Johnston, claimed Mr Soros' philanthropic organisation Open Society "planned and is executing this". However, Open Society denies any involvement and the video shared by Gaetz and the president was actually filmed in Guatemala, a fact which Gaetz later acknowledged he had got wrong

Assessment

Our assessment is that the motive of misinformation being spread could be the nearing midterm elections in the United States. We feel that the quantum of fake news and misinformation increases significantly during period before major elections.