The Mail Online has deleted a lengthy news article focused on "illegal migrants" living in the Paris suburb of Saint Denis, after a string of apparent inaccuracies were highlighted on social media.
The Daily Mail sent reporter Andrew Malone to Paris for an article published on July 27, which has now been removed from the site. Malone appears to have deactivated or suspended his Twitter account.
The piece was headlined: "Powder Keg Paris: As a devastating report reveals 300,000 illegal migrants are living in one French suburb... ANDREW MALONE explores the tensions in a community at odds with mainstream society."
The online version of the article is no longer available.
In a lengthy Twitter thread, Paris resident Marwan Muhammad claimed that the article made a number of errors...
...including mistaking Saint Denis, the city, for Seine-Saint-Denis, the department northeast of Paris.
And while the parliamentary report that the article is based upon does warn of the social and economic problems caused by immigration, it doesn't give a certain number of immigrants living in France illegally.
The report said that the total number of people in Seine-Saint-Denis without leave to remain in France "would be between 150,000, 250,000 people, even 400,000", although the authors admit there is a large margin of error.
In a sentence the authors highlight in bold, the report says: "The only certainty is the uncertainty in which the state is plunged regarding the number of foreigners in an irregular situation in Seine-Saint-Denis."
It's unclear where the Mail's claim of 300,000 comes from.
The article referred to the area having become a "parallel state" with sharia courts — a view that has long been held by commentators who are critical of Islam, and that has been repeatedly dismissed and debunked.
Other tweeters replied with their own takes, including BBC News presenter and reporter Hugh Sykes who recently spent a day in Saint Denis.
Local councillor Majid Messaoudene said that the article had set out to "stigmatise" and "harm" the area and its people.
Muhammad told BuzzFeed News: "At this stage, I don't know what the Mail's response will be. They've taken the article down, but still haven't apologised, not only to the people they stigmatise through their articles, but also to their readership, whose opinion they misinform through such poor journalistic work.
"Being used to tabloïds, even in France, I'm not shocked anymore by the ongoing flow of racist, Islamophobic and anti-migrant fake news that is published.
"But I think there is a big responsibility on two key players, who should take a strong stance: IPSO, whose responsibility it is to protect journalistic standards and brands; and groups who still support the Daily Mail financially, through advertisement."
Mail Online has been contacted for comment but had not responded by the time of publication.
Patrick Smith is a senior reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
Contact Patrick Smith at email@example.com.
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