Farage had posted the tweet over the weekend depicting a woman wearing a sign that read: “My legs are open for refugees” adding “What an insult to the victims of sexual abuse in Cologne and rape in Malmo. These people are sick,” Farage tweeted to his 1.2 million followers.
Farage appears to be making reference to the more than 1,200 women who were sexually assaulted during New Year’s events throughout Germany in 2016. German officials had placed some of the blame for the attacks on the influx of immigration to the country.
Farage later deleted the tweet after the accompanying image was exposed as fake, tweeting - “The photograph turns out to be fake news but the refugees welcome brigade need to think harder about what is happening.”
Lasia Kretzel said she had been aware there was a fake version circulating online but that it was being used by “everyday people, who, for a lack of a better word, are nobodies”.
“But today, it was different,” she wrote. “Today it wasn't just a regular, everyday person. Today it was the former leader of the UK Independence Party. Today it was a current broadcaster. It was a man who is still very much in the public eye and pulls the ears and eyes of thousands of people daily. His words carry weight and they fly far. And when those words carry the wrong information, it does a great disservice to all it lands upon.
“I'd like people to understand that my sharing this story is not about politics, immigration, shaming or any opinions I may or may not have for the people mentioned herein. It's about showing the damage misinformation can do, and its ability to spread like wildfire."
“In an era of instant information sharing, it's important that we check the information we are spreading to make sure it's factual and to own up to our mistakes when we falter. This is especially true for those who exert some level of influence or sway over others.”