A few days ago, a video circulated on social media depicting a mob looting shops in Oxford Street, London. The massive crowd running through the streets of London fueled claims that a particular community was causing chaos in the UK, similar to France’s recent violence, giving it a communal angle. However, the reality is far from the claims. Chaos erupted on London’s Oxford Street due to a social media-driven campaign encouraging looting and shoplifting from ‘JD Sports’. When we dug deeper into our investigations we found that the incident had no religious or community motivations.
However prominent right-wing accounts in India like @ajaychauhan41 and @Sudhir_mish propagated false narratives, linking the chaos to a specific migrant community, particularly the Muslim community, and drawing parallels to France’s recent unrest. The claims aimed to create religious hate and misinformation, particularly towards the Muslim migrant community living illegally in Europe.
Amid the turmoil, the Metropolitan Police (@MPSWestminster) promptly responded, issuing 24 dispersal orders and making five arrests. The police maintained a high-visibility presence, with mounted officers and vans dispatched to protect shops on Oxford Street. Nine people were arrested in total, including individuals breaching dispersal orders, assaulting police officers, and attempting theft.
The police collaborated with NGOs and the community to ensure public safety. The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, urged the public to dismiss the social media misinformation and not participate in the event. He emphasized the police’s dedication to maintaining order.
It is important to highlight that the video in circulation is a representation of past events, not reflective of recent developments or violence in France. By incorrectly associating the video with ongoing violence and fabricating connections to a particular community, certain individuals seek to advance a pre-existing agenda and propagate misleading narratives. The circulation of old videos must be done to exploit the social fabric of Europe.
By perpetuating false claims, some self-proclaimed outlets and individuals seem to aim at sowing discord and disharmony among different communities. After conducting an extensive analysis, our team engaged in fact-checking the claim. You can find the results of this investigation in the Twitter thread embedded below for your reference. While we conducted our research we found several articles from reputable news sources like the Westminster Police, Standard.co.uk, BBC.com, and dailymail.co.uk which provided accurate accounts of the incident, debunking the false claims.
CLAIM: Shops in the UK were looted and vandalized by people from a particular community.
FACT: Misleading, the chaos on Oxford Street resulted from a social media campaign targeting JD Sports, with no religious or community connections.
In our pursuit of accurate and unbiased information, we’ve diligently fact-checked the claims surrounding the incident. Misinformation can sow discord and disrupt communal harmony. Your support matters greatly in our mission to foster an informed and united society. Together, let’s strive to make India and Indians proud, upholding truth and unity. Jai Hind.