Social media has been working itself up into a lather over claims that Italian officials ordered the removal of a Christmas tree to avoid offending Muslims.

Reports in the Italian press had claimed that officials ordered the Christmas tree in the northern-Italian city of Bolzano to be taken out of the town hall because a Muslim group was due to use it.

The story was quickly seized upon by right-wing media commentators and social media users. The only problem? It appears to have been misreported.

Fox News presenter Tucker Carlson was among those to share the false claims. His tweet alone has attracted over 12,000 retweets, likes and comments. He links to a website founded by US blogger Robert Spencer.

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