Fake claims that Newsnight photoshopped Jeremy Corbyn to make him look like a “Soviet stooge” had a social media reach of over 2 million, analysis by Guido can reveal. By contrast, tweets from the BBC debunking the untrue claims received just 2,400 retweets.
Owen Jones’ Newsnight performance in which he alleged “you had Jeremy Corbyn dressed up as a Soviet stooge, you even photoshopped his hat to look more Russian” – an untrue assertion that the BBC has debunked – was clipped up by Momentum and other prominent Corbynista Twitter accounts. The fake claim was also pushed by Labour MP Laura Pidcock. The numbers are a case study in how fake news can go viral:
- Momentum’s Facebook video falsely claiming the BBC “dressed up” Corbyn had 716,000 views and 20,000 shares.
- Momentum’s Twitter video had 266,000 views.
- The same video from the @Limitless_Josh Twitter account had a further 157,000 views.
- A video from the @jennie_bujold Twitter account had another 70,000 views.
- Newsnight’s Twitter video of the same section had 204,000 views.
- Owen Jones repeatedly pushed the claims on his own Twitter account, even after they had been denied and debunked. He has 738,000 followers, his tweets were retweeted 9,000 times.
- Similar claims by the @ToryFibs account were sent to their 93,000 followers and retweeted 3,000 times.
- Labour MP Laura Pidcock tweeted the untrue claim to her 40,000 followers, she was retweeted 2,300 times.
- By contrast… the BBC Press Office tweets denying they photoshopped the image were retweeted just 600 times. Newsnight acting editor Jess Brammar’s tweets debunking the claims had just 1,800 retweets.
This means the hat-gate claims were sent viral to a similar degree as the animal sentience fake news last year. This is not the first time Corbynistas have knowingly pushed untrue claims to millions of unwitting social media users. Owen and his comrades know what they’re doing…