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This is a genuine tweet.

This is a genuine tweet.

Another Mail hoax – or does this one have the ring of truth? You decide:

“Fans of former England footballer Paul Gascoigne, popularly known as ‘Gazza’, were left confused and fearing for his future as a Free Gaza campaign took off online,” according to Mail on Sunday reporter Stephanie Linning.

“Tweets with the hashtag #freegaza have been trending on Twitter in response to the violence in the Middle East, with users using their posts to urge Israeli forces to stop their assault on the Gaza Strip.

“But followers of the troubled player, who has become known for his battles with alcohol and drugs, mistakenly thought that he had been arrested and that the campaign was in support of his freedom.”

Readers who are familiar with the Mail – both Daily and on Sunday – will be aware of its apparent determination to become the nation’s purveyor of bizarre fictional ‘news’, in the wake of the Sunday Sport. Amazingly this story seems to have a basis in reality, as it featured images of tweets sent by real people.

“Confused fans took to Twitter to write messages that used the hashtag #freegaza, while others changed the hashtag to read #freegazza,” the story continued.

“One loyal fan posted on the social network: ‘Didn’t know the great man had been locked up, but I am jumping on the bandwagon #FreeGazza’.

“Others turned to the social network for answers. One user wrote: ‘What has Paul Gascoigne done now has he been arrested #freegaza’.”

Meanwhile, on another social network (Facebook) an altogether better-considered commenter, sharing the story, lamented the fact that “these people have the vote”.

Perhaps that’s why the Tories get elected, and why the Green Party doesn’t…

These people see “Conservative” on the ballot paper and think it says “Conservationist”.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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