Migrant's Selfie Travel Doc Was a Fake

By Gary Cutlack on at

The Instagram account of a supposed migrant travelling to Europe from Senegal has been revealed as a hoax, meaning hundreds of people left their finest racist comments beneath photos documenting his escape to the EU for no good reason.

The account was spotted last week, and supposedly charted the journey of Abdou Diouf to Europe. Photos showed him on a boat in the dark, arriving with joy on a European beach, a particularly grim looking "last meal" prepared for him by his mother and more.

It was all, sadly, a hoax, one designed to get people interested in a Spanish photography festival. Several clues were provided, like Diouf's use of modern western hashtags like #foodgasm to describe his final meal, plus the fact that "Abdou Diouf" is the name of a long-running president of Senegal, something that should've set alarm bells ringing.

It turns out that Abdou Diouf was played by Hagi Toure, a man who has his own Instagram account -- one with substantially fewer comments telling him he's not welcome wherever he happens to be. And also one recently set to private, no doubt because of the furore his silly joke photos have whipped up among the anti-migration hardcore. [Disphotic via BBC]