On 9 August, a home in an estate in Balbriggan, north Dublin, caught fire and was gutted.
What would normally be a local story detailing how a family lost everything in the blaze attracted a different type of attention.
The incident became a weapon used by far-right media commentators and Twitter accounts to stir up division and hatred against members of the black community living in the area. Social media became awash with conspiracy theories, the central theme being that a group of (mainly black) teenagers had started the house fire.
Tweets from English far-right groups mentioned “African gangs” and how they were “swarming” Balbriggan. More lies began to spread about why the house was “targeted” with some claiming that a local drug dealer lived there and the fire was an attack on him.
These claims came with no evidence and were, in the end, wildly inaccurate. The house fire was caused by an electrical fault, and the oil tank at the rear of the property added to the devastation...