On May 2, 2018, an ultra-nationalist online edition Alt-Info published an article titled “According to the majority of the European Union population, the process of integration of migrants is unsuccessful”. According to the material, the public opinion poll, conducted by the European Commission, shows that 55% of the European Union population believes that the process of integrating migrants with their countries has been unsuccessful.
The article is based on an article by an ultra-right portal Breitbart and mentions that the countries with high rate of migration stand out with especially large amount of people, who believe that the integration is unsuccessful. Statistical data from Sweden (73%), France (64%) and Germany (63%) are given as examples.
Alt-Info and Breitbart faked the data published by the European Commission. Actually, as the survey shows, 54% of the respondents believe that the process of integrating migrants is successful (this is not mentioned by Alt-Info), while only 40% think that the process is unsuccessful – 15% less than according to Alt-Info. Therefore, Alt-Info’s claim that the majority of the European Union population believes that the process of integrating migrants is unsuccessful, is false.
The source that both Alt-Info and Breitbart refer to is Eurobarometer survey, published by the European Commission in 2018, entitled “Integration of immigrants in the European Union”.
According to the survey data, 54% of the respondents believe that the process of integrating migrants in their countries is successful, with 40% considering it unsuccessful and 6% having answered “I do not know”. Alt-Info’s version intentionally omits the share of people considering the integration process successful (54%), while the share of those unsatisfied is intentionally increased by 15%.
The Infographic #1 below shows the difference between the data published by Alt-Info and the results of the Eurobarometer survey.
Apart from the total indicators, Alt-Info has manipulated and exaggerated the results of the surveys in Sweden, Germany and France, which it uses to back up the manipulative claim, that the share of those believing that the integration process is unsuccessful is allegedly especially high in the countries, which stand out with high immigration rates.
According to the survey, published by the European Commission, the share of respondents in Sweden, who believe that the migrant integration process is unsuccessful, is 52%, while Alt-Info has indicated 73%. Similarly, the indicator equals to 46% for France, while according to Alt-Info’s version, it is 64%. In Germany, 48% of the respondents consider the process to be unsuccessful, which is 15% less than Alt-Info’s version (see Infographic #2).
The text in the title of the article by Alt-Info provokes a reader to believe that the majority of the population of the European Union thinks that the integration of migrants is an unsuccessful process, which is not true. As mentioned above, more than half of the respondents (54%) believe that the integration process is going in the right direction. An ultra-right edition Breitbart, the primary source of Alt-Info’s article, had a similarly manipulative headline on its article from April 30.
This is not the first case when Alt-Info manipulates with the issue of migrants and distorts statistical data
The portal periodically publishes disinformative materials, where it tries to associate the migrants with the threat coming from crime and terrorism (see Infographic #3). For instance, on February 25, 2017, the portal falsified the words of the Head of Swedish Security Service, as if he said that the number of jihadist Islamists in Sweden increased from several hundred to several thousands. Actually, the Head of the Swedish Security Service, Anders Thornberg, has not mentioned the term “jihadist Islamist” at all. Earlier, Alt-Info connected 92% of rapes in Sweden to migrants, whereas, according to the explanation provided by the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention to the Myth Detector, there exists no official crime statistics by origin and birth place of criminals.
Prepared by Lana Kapanadze
Myth Detector Laboratory