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Here's How Far-Right Trolls Are Spreading Hoaxes About French Presidential Candidate Emmanuel Macron

"Meme Macron out of existence... We need to stop this creep Macron from cucking up Europe." WARNING: This post contains graphic images.

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On Sunday night, this 4chan thread appeared a few hours after pro-EU centrist and former investment banker Emmanuel Macron and far-right populist and former leader of the National Front Marine Le Pen were declared winners of the first round of France's presidential election.

boards.4chan.org

The thread was posted on 4chan's /pol/ board, which has become a central hub for far-right extremism over the last few years.

Users post anonymously on the message board, but the country their IP addresses belong to show up as tiny flags next to their randomly generated user IDs.

The thread was started by a Swedish user who asked members of the community if they could help him create memes and misinformation about Emmanuel Macron that could then be translated and spread across the web.

The original poster suggested they focus on a narrative that Emmanuel Macron was secretly sleeping with his wife's 30-year-old daughter, Tiphaine Auzière.

boards.4chan.org

The age difference between Macron and his 64-year-old wife, Brigitte Trogneux, has become the subject of widespread international attention. Trogneux was Macron's high school drama teacher.

A French user appeared further down the conversation, explaining that Americans are naive to think that creating a false sex scandal would affect Macron's chances. "You do realize we don't have as much triggered feminists as you do," they wrote.

Threads like this don't end on 4chan, however. Similar conversations, with many of the same — or similar — memes have been happening in far-right internet communities since Sunday's election. The pro-Trump /r/The_Donald subreddit also began making Macron terrorism memes.

Dordevic was accused by other users of falling for a 4chan hoax, but then claimed that his source was this French article. The article does not include any claims about Macron having an extramarital affair.

Twitter: @briandordevic

Dordevic also claimed that the French article created a lot of debate in France. But according to social media metrics website Crowdtangle, the article Dordevic linked to was shared a total of 37 times on Facebook and has only been tweeted eight times.

Around the same time, a very small account called @martinpaulam tweeted out an International Business Times story from February about WikiLeaks possibly publishing emails that would prove Macron was having a homosexual affair.

Twitter: @martinpaulam

There have been rumors circulating about Macron's sexuality for some time now. He has repeatedly denied being in a homosexual relationship with Radio France chief executive Mathieu Gallet.

Ryan Broderick is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Ryan Broderick at ryan@buzzfeed.com.

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