BBC Mislead 70,000 Readers With Fake SAGE Claim

28 May

Last week Guido reported on Angela Rayner’s SAGE confusion, when she claimed advice from the left-wing, activist-packed Independent SAGE had come from the official group. While Labour’s deputy leader making the error is bad enough, today the BBC made the same mistake; with verified political journalist, Simon Gilbert, describing the Labour activist group‘s opposition to […]

Snapchat and the news industry: How youth platform is working with publishers to provide trusted news on Covid-19

20 May

“I’ll explain it to you the way I explain it to my mum, who’s in her mid-70s.” Oh dear. That didn’t take long.  Five minutes into my video call interview with Suzy Cox, and she appears to have realised that (at 30) I am not an active member of the “Snapchat generation”. Cox, who is … Continue reading “Snapchat and the news industry: How youth platform is working with publishers to provide trusted news on Covid-19”

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Tory MPs Fall for Doctored Starmer Video

14 May

Minister Nadine Dorries and MPs Maria Caulfield and Lucy Allen were caught out this morning when sharing an edited video of Sir Keir supposedly explaining why he didn’t prosecute grooming gangs when he was head of the CPS. Dorries and Allen both deleted their shares, with Caulfield going one step further and deleting her Twitter account […]

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‘Minions of fascism’: Russian internet trolls outraged by Press Gazette exposure of 5G conspiracy video

13 May

Russian-speaking internet trolls have attacked Press Gazette after an investigation into Covid-19 conspiracy theories prompted the removal of a Youtube video claiming links between the disease and 5G. The verbal attacks appear to have started after the video’s uploader, Vlad Freedom, linked through to the article and Press Gazette’s Youtube account on his channel, which … Continue reading “‘Minions of fascism’: Russian internet trolls outraged by Press Gazette exposure of 5G conspiracy video”

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Covid-19 conspiracy videos warning against facemasks and vaccination removed by Youtube after Press Gazette investigation

13 May

Youtube has broadcast conspiratorial warnings against public health guidelines on face masks to millions of users, a Press Gazette investigation has found. One of the Covid-19 conspiracy videos – which suggests that official advice to wear masks is part of an “agenda to make people weaker, to make people more susceptible” to health problems – … Continue reading “Covid-19 conspiracy videos warning against facemasks and vaccination removed by Youtube after Press Gazette investigation”

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Everyone can play part to stop spread of coronavirus misinformation – Reuters head of UGC

12 May

Hazel Baker is head of user generated content newsgathering at Reuters. “We’re not just fighting an epidemic – we’re fighting an infodemic.” Those were the words of World Health Organisation director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus who warned back in February that the excessive flow of information surrounding Covid-19 was allowing rumours and false claims to spread far and fast. Around the same time as Tedros gave … Continue reading “Everyone can play part to stop spread of coronavirus misinformation – Reuters head of UGC”

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Piers Morgan Shares Covid Water Supply Fake News

12 May

This afternoon Piers Morgan shared an erroneous claim from ‘Water UK’ that the Prime Minister had “mistakenly referred to COVID-19 being in the #water supply.” The tweet, which has been doing the rounds on the loopier sides of the internet, said that “tap water remains perfectly safe”, as if the PM had suggested anything different was […]

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Front Page Fake News

8 May

The front page headline of today’s Morning Star is a bold lie. Following the 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop pact the Morning Star wasn’t anti-fascist. It was, as it is today, dismissive of the capitalist Western democracies, opposing rearmament and undermining the war effort until 1941. We should never allow the communists to forget… Whereas democratic socialists like […]

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YouTube broadcasts Covid-19 conspiracies to millions: Press Gazette probe prompts removal of videos after weeks online

6 May

YouTube is broadcasting Covid-19 conspiracy theory videos to millions of people, and in some cases running adverts alongside them, a Press Gazette investigation has found. The Google-owned platform, which made $15bn in revenue last year, claims to have cracked down on dangerous and misleading content. But several such videos were only removed after being flagged … Continue reading “YouTube broadcasts Covid-19 conspiracies to millions: Press Gazette probe prompts removal of videos after weeks online”

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Fake News Death Wish Daily Mirror

4 May

Yesterday the Mirror claimed Boris Johnson had a “death plan” to kill school children by forcing them back to school in June. It goes without saying there is no such plan and all the medical research suggests children are thankfully almost immune from this terrible virus. Last month they claimed that 50,000 people were set […]

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MPs slam tech giants for failing to ‘answer basic questions’ on disinformation

30 Apr

MPs have accused tech giants Facebook, Google and Twitter of being “unable to answer basic questions” about disinformation during appearances before a select committee today. Representatives of the firms appeared before the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport sub-committee on online harms and disinformation, with particular focus on the spread of false narratives around the coronavirus … Continue reading “MPs slam tech giants for failing to ‘answer basic questions’ on disinformation”

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Action urged after ‘crackpot theories’ linking 5G and coronavirus grow

6 Apr

The Government has called for social media companies to do more to clamp down on “crackpot theories” that have seen 5G phone masts set alight and telecoms workers attacked over the past week. False claims have circulated online that 5G technology has helped transmit coronavirus (Covid-19), apparently resulting in attacks on at least 20 mobile … Continue reading “Action urged after ‘crackpot theories’ linking 5G and coronavirus grow”

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Going viral: Twitter and Facebook failing to contain Covid-19 misinformation

31 Mar

Vladimir Putin has released hundreds of lions and tigers on to the streets of Russia to enforce self-isolation.  Hollywood celebrities are not being diagnosed with coronavirus – they are actually being arrested for paedophilia offences. The US was threatening Iraq with coronavirus 30 years ago, as proven by an archived Associated Press video of Saddam … Continue reading “Going viral: Twitter and Facebook failing to contain Covid-19 misinformation”

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Google ‘inadvertently funding’ coronavirus conspiracy websites

27 Mar

Google has been accused of helping to fund fake news about coronavirus by placing adverts on websites that promote unproven conspiracy theories. A new study found that out of 50 websites carrying coronavirus conspiracy stories, 43 (86 per cent) appeared to be the recipients of Google ad services. Supplementary research by Press Gazette found Google-powered … Continue reading “Google ‘inadvertently funding’ coronavirus conspiracy websites”

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Who are you calling gullible?

24 Mar

A decade ago, Hugo Mercier and some colleagues wrote an article with the catchy title, “Epistemic Vigilance”. It argued that humans are naturally sceptical and not easy to convince, let alone fool. Many people were… unconvinced. “What about flat-earthers?” they would ask Mercier. “What about people voting for the Nazis?” Like the rigorous scholar he […]

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Government delay over coronavirus ‘fake news’ unit questioned by media committee chairman

17 Mar

The Government’s delay in setting up a unit to fight “fake news” around coronavirus (Covid-19) has been questioned by the chairman of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee. A Counter Disinformation Unit was created by the Government last week to respond to inaccurate or misleading stories and posts about the virus. Digital, Culture, Media … Continue reading “Government delay over coronavirus ‘fake news’ unit questioned by media committee chairman”

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Government creates team to tackle coronavirus ‘fake news’

9 Mar

The Government is taking coronavirus disinformation into its own hands with a new unit monitoring social media and responding to false claims relating to the outbreak. A new so-called “counter disinformation unit” will see Whitehall staff identify and respond where necessary to inaccurate or misleading stories and posts about coronavirus. The Department for Culture, Media … Continue reading “Government creates team to tackle coronavirus ‘fake news'”

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Fact checking and fast news

20 Feb

Wearing my hat as a director of FactCheckNI and participating in a recent lunchtime webinar organised by ResponseSource, I commented that while social media are used to spread misinformation and disinformation, these platforms also give access to a “huge, big brain” of “experts who do actually know some of those numbers or do know what happened” who can pick holes in arguments and claims.

Fake Tube Ads Target Tories

28 Oct

Tube users may have noticed poorly made attack adverts that have popped up recently under the name ‘#FCKBORIS’ with accusations of climate denial and false austerity claims against the Conservatives. TfL say they are taking steps to take down the false ads, telling Guido: “These adverts are not authorised by TfL or our advertising agent […]

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