Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Hope not Hate photoshop Facebook 'evidence' of racism/homophobia

Last week, Hope not Hate were busy sending 'evidence' of racism and homophobia to Oxfordshire newspapers after 'uncovering' evidence on the Facebook pages of two UKIP candidates, Alan Harris and Dickie Bird.

EXIF data showing the creation date of one of the
images used in the article
Perhaps it was the date - the article was posted on their website on the 1st April - but as usual Hope not Hate's evidence is not all it appears to be.

The article, written by 'Simon Cressy' (a pointless pseudonym used by Kirklees-based HnH activist Carl Morphett) features a number of images which purport to be 'screen grabs' taken from the UKIP member's Facebook timelines.

But as the County chairman for UKIP pointed out in an e-mail, it is here that their lie is exposed. Contained within online images is data about the image itself. This data is known as 'EXIF' data, and contains amongst other information the date and time the image was created, and by whom. If we look at a sample image, we find that far from it being a post that was 3 years old, it was created by one Carl Morphett at half past eight on the 28th March. How convenient!

Some have the EXIF data stripped from them, and one - relating to a posting about Morrison's supermarket allegedly refusing to allow poppy sellers in the store - shows an image date in early 2014, indicating that it is the only genuine screengrab from the page.

To quote Dr Lee Upcraft, the Oxfordshire chairman:

"This proves that the image, reportedly a screen shot of Alan Harris’ Facebook feed, was created at March 28th 2015 at 8:32 pm. Similarly two others were also created within a few minutes of this. According to Hope Not Hate, these are screenshots of Alan Harris’s Facebook page – of postings from 2012 & 2013. Why then do they have an embedded date that is two days before the dissolution of Parliament?

If they are genuine, then they were taken just before start of the "short" election campaign. UKIP conducts extensive vetting of its candidates, and there is no chance that we would permit anybody to stand for the Party with that content on full view on their Facebook page. Nor would we allow anybody to stand who had expressed such views.

We maintain that these images are faked to smear Alan Harris. Alan is standing in a key Tory/Lib-Dem marginal seat. The Liberal Democrats lost this in 2010 to the Tories with a majority of 176. Ask yourself who is to benefit from this?"

 There are a few other points worth noting. Cressy/Morphett's article is rather strong on homophobia in places - in fact, the article is titled 'Oxfordshire UKIP candidate exposed as a racist homophobe'. This seems rather strange, as we understand that one of those mentioned shares his house with his adult son. Who is openly gay. Which makes it all the more remarkable that these two candidates would talk about 'gay pricks' as claimed.

Still, the wonder of photoshop is that you can make anyone say anything. Below we have damning evidence that Morphett and Lowles actively conspired to frame the two candidates. Needless to say, the evidence was created by our own fair hands in Photoshop.

A not at all Photoshopped screen grab from Carl Morphett's Facebook

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