This post was originally based on verification work carried out collaboratively by newsrooms in France and the UK through CrossCheck (French | English), a not-for-profit collaboration to combat disinformation online, and is republished as part of a partnership with Global Voices.
A screenshot of a fake tweet by Marine Le Pen, in which the National Front (FN) candidate criticizes the Masha and The Bear cartoon (Masha Et Michka in French), was posted on Twitter on Sunday, February 26.
The tweet — from the “NTM le FN” account, known for being anti-FN — was shared more than 1,700 times. Published with the hashtag #NantesMLP, the Tweet was published as Marine Le Pen visited the city of Nantes for a rally.
However, the tweet cannot be found on Marine Le Pen’s real account and it is difficult to find any trace of it elsewhere on the social network.
The person behind the tweet chose to remain anonymous but confirmed that it was a fake. She explained that it aimed “to demonstrate how easy it is to misinform on Twitter” and that her action “was part of the fight against the ‘fachosphere’ (extreme right groups)”. The image already appeared on Facebook in December 2016, when it received more than 13,000 likes.
You can read about other fabrications and the French elections here.