Map documenting migrant crimes in Germany boasts sexy stats with little substance
Not everyone is a fan of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s policy to let in over a million refugees to Germany with minimal screening, especially after a series of high-profile attacks linked to asylum seekers.
There are obviously exceptions to every rule, the rule being this time that the overwhelming majority of refugees are seeking shelter from the very terrorist groups with which they are oft associated. However, one map seeks to subvert Germany’s open-door policy and distorts the facts, according to The Bureau of Investigative Journalism. The interactive map, named XY-Einzelfall, cropped up last year and promotes sleek, shiny statistics that might be compelling but are not always true.
Take this claim from one of its so-called analyses: According to police reports from a seven day period, 84% of crime in Germany committed was done so by migrants. What is one of the criteria for determining whether a migrant was responsible for the crime? Eyewitnesses claiming that the perp looked ‘foreign’ or ‘dark-skinned’. Sounds reliable (*eye-roll*).
The most concerning thing about this type of ‘data’ is that it does not seek to defame refugees in a blatant way that is immediately apparent. To the masses, initiatives like XY-Einzelfall look legitimate, and if someone on the fence about refugees does not dig deeper, they could be swayed by the map’s claims. This is fake news 2.0, ladies and gentleman, and it’s even more dangerous than the regular stuff.
Animosity towards refugees has risen as millions of people have fled war-torn nations such as Syria, placing a significant burden on host countries. While it is unfortunate that a fraction of these individuals has taken advantage of the opportunity to seek asylum, what is an even bigger tragedy is that some people are letting the actions of a few bad apples impact the futures of millions of innocent people trying to escape war and conflict.