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Migri: Finnish language TikTok video criticising Ukrainians is "disinformation"

The video referred to a reception centre in Juuka, even though the town does not have one.

A video was published on Tik Tok with disinformation about Ukrainians. Image: Wakil Kohsar / AFP

The Finnish Immigration Service Migri has said a video that spread on the TikTok social media platform in which a woman calls Ukrainians fleeing their country "ungrateful" is disinformation.

The video, which has since been deleted, shows a woman who claims to be a nurse at a reception centre in the town of Juuka, in Eastern Finland, talking about her apparent experiences of working with Ukrainian families that have arrived in Finland since Russia's invasion of their home country.

The video was heavily criticised on social media because of the woman's comments about Ukrainian people.

Henri Tanskanen, the mayor of Juuka, told Yle that he watched the video after members of the local municipal council contacted him because of the reference to the town. He said he also received a call from the Finnish Immigration Service.

"I saw that there's some confusion here. This person claims to be at the Juuka Reception Centre, but there is no reception centre in Juuka," Tanskanen said.

Klaus Kaartinen, Director of Communications at the Finnish Immigration Service, confirmed he spoke with Tanskanen on Tuesday, after he noticed the video in a Twitter thread.

"There is disinformation in the video, as there is no reception centre in Juuka. But since there are individual hosts, we wanted to make sure that no-one could misunderstand that there was such a centre," Kaartinen told Yle.

Mayor: Unknown person featured in video

Kaartinen told Yle he was not surprised to see false information spread on social media, but noted that the overall discussion on social media has been calm.

"Immigration issues are always a hot topic on social media. You can't get over it and you can't get around it. Now more than 20,000 Ukrainians have come to Finland in a short time and Russia is at war, such things are not surprising," Kaartinen explained.

He also did not comment on whether the video could be considered hybrid influencing.

"Care must be taken if not all aspects of the matter are known. These are not accusations to simply be guessed," Kaartinen said.

Tanskanen said he contacted a volunteer leader in Juuka and according to the volunteers working in the town, the woman in the video was not known to them.

"Of course, I'm worried that there are people like this at all. It is perhaps this modern age that is gaining attention in different ways through social media," Tanskanen added.

Tanskanen considered it likely that this will continue to happen in the future. The video may have spread, but it was quickly stopped in its tracks, he noted.

"The video was then deleted, so I guess it didn't have much time to build up steam," Tanskanen said.