Verdict: The story published by Alt-info is FAKE.
Resume: The online media outlet, Alt-info, falsified a survey of the most influential British broadcaster, the BBC. Based on falsified data, Alt-info claims that Europe is the tensest region in the world because of migrants. In fact, the survey which the BBC conducted in 2018 across 27 different countries of the world does not show such results. The BBC studied the perceptions of citizens of different nations on the divisions among their citizens (a total of 19,428 people were surveyed). The results show that Serbs consider themselves to have the most divided society whilst citizens of Saudi Arabia think of themselves as the least divided. In regard to the issue of migrants, the BBC studied the attitudes and level of trust towards migrants as well as many other different factors. It turned out that Russians trust migrants the least whilst Italians, above all other countries, consider migrants as one of the reasons behind the divisions in their society.
Alt-info refers to the Breitbart news agency as its source. Although Breitbart itself falsified the results of the survey as well, Alt-info distorted them even further. Presumably, this was done on purpose with the aim of discrediting both Europe and migrants.
The online media outlet, Alt-info, published an article entitled: “In Accordance with the Results of a New Survey, the World’s Region with the Highest Social Tension is Europe.” The author of the article provides a BBC survey to prove his point and argues: “Of the world’s regions, it is Europe where most people believe that the population is socially divided. Europeans name immigration as a chief source of social tension.”
In April 2018, the BBC published the results of its survey. They survey took interest in the perceptions of citizens as to whether or not they believe their respective society is divided. A total of 19,428 people were surveyed in 27 countries on six continents: Europe (Serbia, Italy, Hungary, UK, Poland, Spain, Germany, Belgium, Sweden, France), North America (USA, Mexico, Canada), South America (Argentina, Chile, Peru, Brazil), Asia (Malaysia, Japan, South Korea, Russia, India, China, Turkey, Saudi Arabia), Africa (South Africa) and Australia.
In accordance with the results of the survey, Serbs consider their society to the most divided whilst citizens of Saudi Arabia believe that their society is the least divided. Spaniards feel the divisions within their society more in 2018 than they did ten years ago whilst Saudi Arabians again lead the poll by the amount of people who say that their society is less divided now as compared to a decade ago. The results of the same survey also show that Canadians consider themselves as the most tolerant and accepting society whilst Hungarians are the least tolerant in this regard.
In regard to those factors stipulating divisions, the authors of the survey categorised the reasons into several groups. Table 1 shows what each country’s citizen believes is the greatest and least cause of division and confrontation.
Table 1: Reasons Why Society is Divided (Perceptions of Those Surveyed)
|Cause/sign of division (between whom?)||The most divided country||The least divided country|
|1||Between rich and poor||Russia||Sweden|
|2||Between different ethnicities||South Africa||Argentina|
|3||Between migrants and people born in [COUNTRY]||Italy||Brazil|
|4||Between different religions||Belgium||Hungary|
|5||Between people with different political views||Malaysia||Saudi Arabia|
|6||Between men and women||South Korea||Hungary|
|7||Between those in cities and those in rural areas||Belgium||China|
|8||Between old and young||Japan||Argentina|
Source: BBC Global Survey – A World Divided? 2018
In regard to trust based on each of the aforementioned reasons, the results are the following: the poor are least trusted in Argentina whilst they are the most trusted in Serbia, Hungary and Spain.
People of different ethnicities are least trusted in Hungary whilst they are most trusted in Argentina and Serbia, Hungary and Spain.
Migrants are least trusted in Russia whilst they are most trusted in Brazil (see Table 2).
Table 2: Reasons Why People Trust or Do not Trust Other Citizens (Perceptions of Those Surveyed)
|Character which makes a specific group representative “different”||Least trusted||Most trusted|
|1||People who are poorer than you||Argentina, China||Serbia, Hungary, Spain|
|2||People who are of a different ethnicity than you||Hungary||Argentina, Serbia|
|3||Immigrants who have to live and work in [COUNTRY]||Russia||Brazil|
|4||People who are of a different religion than you||Sweden||Argentina|
|5||People who have different political views than you||South Korea||France|
|6||People who are of different sexes||Mexico||Serbia|
|7||People who live in cities and in rural areas||India||Italy|
|8||People who are older than you / People who are younger than you||India||Serbia|
Source: BBC Global Survey – A World Divided? 2018
As the real results of the survey indicate, none of the continents or regions is divided by any single cause. Contrary to what Alt-info claims, this is also true for Europe. In addition, the survey does not even include the issues of tension and/or fear whilst Alt-info claims that Europe is the tensest region in the world according to the survey. This is completely wrong and constitutes an absolute falsification of the survey. In fact, the survey indicates that immigrants are least trusted in Russia and not in Europe and the issue of migrants is named as a source of division in society only in Italy and not on the entire European continent.
Alt-info refers to the news and opinion website Breitbart as a source. Although Breitbart also falsified the results of the survey, Alt-info takes the distortion of information further. Presumably, this was done on purpose with the aim of discrediting Europe and migrants.