Rassemblement National Rickrolled: Rassemblementnational.com Is NOT The New Website of France's Front National

Fact Check

  • by: Maarten Schenk

STORY UPDATED: check for updates below.

France's Marine Le Pen has proposed changing the name of her far-right party "Front National" (National Front) to "Rassemblement National" (National Rally) this weekend.

However it seems there are two major problems with that proposal. The first was already reported on by the French edition of the Huffington Post: someone else already owns the trademark "Rassemblement National", namely Igor Kurek, a minor French political figure running a different political movement.

Le Pen's second problem is Mario Van Poppel, a Belgian expat living in London.

Van Poppel bought the domain name on March 12, 2018 for Β£2103.95 (around $2900) including taxes and told Lead Stories he wasn't sure what to do with it yet. He stated he might set up a crowdfunding campaign later to offset the cost of the purchase.

This isn't the first time the Belgian joker snaps up the domain name of a political campaign. In 2016 he pulled a similar stunt with voteleave.com, which he bought before the people behind the Brexit campaign (who ran voteleave.co.uk) could get their hands on it. He redirected that domain name to a video of the popular song "Never Gonna Give You Up" by Rick Astley. Fooling unuspecting people with promising internet links that point to that video is known in internet jargon as "Rickrolling".

As of a few minutes ago, rassemblementnational.com started redirecting to the video too.



  • 2018-03-12T12:48:53Z 2018-03-12T12:48:53Z
    Crowdfunding campaign now live on IndieGogo

  Maarten Schenk

Lead Stories co-founder Maarten Schenk is our resident expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk

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