Fake Tube Ads Target Tories

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 Global. They are fly posting, and we have instructed our contractors to remove them.”

This isn’t the first time fake ads have unofficially been put on the tube by arty campaigners, Guido was recently sent this poster attacking Puma for ‘sponsoring Israali Apartheid’. 

Guido’s is tempted to print some ads of his own…

BBC Admit “Lapse of Editorial Standards” Over EU Parliament Results Coverage

The BBC has admitted its representation of the European Parliamentary election results in May represented a “lapse of editorial standards” when it refused to count the Conservative Party as a ‘pro-Brexit’ party. The organisation’s Executive Complaints Unit is now “consider[ing] what further action is required”…

The notorious chart used by the BBC to present the election results attempted to present the Conservative Party as holding a similarly ambiguous position on Brexit as the Labour Party did at the time, in order to deliberately imply anti-Brexit parties received the most votes. Incredibly, it is still up on the BBC website. At the time Guido proposed an alternate chart

A heroic co-conspirator has pursued the issue for months, and despite being rebuffed twice by the BBC, yesterday finally had his complaint accepted. It was only accepted after threatening to take the matter to OFCOM…

Read the BBC Executive Complaints Unit’s letter in full here.

Cox Bollocks Snow for ‘Fake News’

When Guido saw Jon Snow’s tweet he was a bit sceptical of a single source of Snow’s gaining an insight that no one else had managed. It turns out it was, to quote the primary authority, complete “bollocks”…

BBC and DCMS Committee Push Fake News About Vote Leave Facebook Adverts

Whoever wrote this news article for the BBC website about Vote Leave’s Facebook adverts is going to have some explaining to do to their editor. The article talks about how Vote Leave and BeLeave “micro-targeted” adverts during the referendum, “with 252 of them seen fewer than 1,000 times”. Just one problem: it’s total nonsense. The adverts were never requested by Vote Leave or BeLeave. They never ran. That is why they appear in the “0-999” impressions box in the DCMS select committee’s numbers. The true number is zero. A glaring factual error completely demolishing the BBC’s story that Vote Leave “micro-targeted” adverts to data sets of fewer than 1,000 people.

This fake news has come about because the DCMS select committee refused to publish evidence that would have clearly explained what happened. Aggregate IQ wrote to the committee with the explanation back in May. The committee refused to publish the letter, and now off the back of that the BBC has ended up publishing nonsense. Yet more evidence of Damian Collins’ Remoaner select committee, which is supposed to be impartial, losing touch with reality as they peddle their conspiracy theories about Vote Leave…

UPDATE: Carole is going on about there being no imprint – on the ads that didn’t run – “That look completely illegal”. There is no legal requirement for imprints on online adverts. This is not a “whole new massive can of worms”. It is Carole showing her complete lack of knowledge of the rules.

The reason online adverts don’t require an imprint is because generally they are too small and when viewers click they will in any event be taken to a site that generally says clearly who the advertiser is by advocating a vote for them.

UPDATE II: The BBC has issued a correction:

i / Mirror’s Fake Single Market Poll Rubbished

When Guido saw the i splash on a new poll claiming a majority now back single market membership, he foolishly assumed it was a real poll conducted by a polling company that meets the basic British Polling Council rules. Turns out it was an online survey of readers of Johnston Press, Trinity Mirror and Newsquest websites, with no methodology, tables or demographics published. Anthony Wells from YouGov and UK Polling Report is justifiably damning:

The i has actually splashed on their own online survey as if it is a real poll, when in reality it isn’t worth the paper it’s written on. The Mirror at least buried this guff on page 12. How is a survey of readers of three news groups’ websites possibly representative? Total amateur hour masquerading as news…

Corbynista Fake News About Labour Membership Surge Retweeted Thousands of Times

These Corbynista Twitter accounts – including the infamous “Rachael Swindon” persona – are claiming that Labour has experienced a surge in membership as a response to this week’s anti-Semitism stories and Monday’s protest against Jeremy Corbyn. Pretty sick that they think it’s a good thing that people would want to join Labour in the week it was dubbed a racist party. It is also total crap – Labour have confirmed there has been no spike in membership. This Corbynista fake news has been retweeted thousands of times. Really covering themselves in glory this week.

Fake LibDem Newspaper Lies to Richmond and Twickenham Voters

Guido has previously reported on how the LibDems produce fake newspapers to hookwink voters – well, this is the most egregious example yet. Residents in Richmond and Twickenham have had a copy of the “Richmond & Twickenham Gazette” through their doors today. It has the appearance of a real newspaper, carrying multiple news reports attacking the government and splashing on a “story” criticising the Tory-controlled Richmond council. Let’s have a look at some of the “reporters” writing for the Gazette…

Piers Allen is described as the paper’s “Social correspondent”, with his byline on an apparent news report attacking the government on poverty and carrying a quote from a local LibDem saying the story is a “damning indictment of the Tory party”. Piers Allen is not a journalist. He is the co-chair of Twickenham & Richmond LibDems and a local LibDem councillor. 

Next the paper runs a story by its “Europe correspondent”, Alicia Bridges-Westcott, writing glowingly about how Vince Cable is “fighting to give you the final say on the Brexit deal”. Guess what? Alicia Bridges-Wescott is not a Europe correspondent. She is the campaign manager for Twickenham & Richmond LibDems. 

It gets worse. A report by “Health correspondent” Simon Drage runs a quote telling readers that “heartless Tory cuts” have caused an “NHS in crisis”. Forget that NHS spending has increased under the Tories. Simon Drage is not a health correspondent. He is the Seat Strategy & Intelligence Officer at LibDem HQ.

Finally we have a story from Jonathan Cardy, apparently the Gazette’s “Finance correspondent”, reporting how the Tories are spending money that could be spent on hospitals on Brexit. It will not surprise you to learn that Jonathan Cardy is not a finance correspondent. He is a LibDem councillor in Richmond.

The only admission that this newspaper is a pack of lies comes in this imprint at the bottom, which confirms it is published by Twickenham & Richmond LibDems. A fake newspaper with fake news and fake journalists – the LibDems are infamous for being the dirtiest campaigners but this is a new low…

Fake Hat-Gate Claims Had Social Media Reach of Over 2 Million

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…

Damian Collins’ Fake News Jolly To US Costing Taxpayer £30,000+

An MPs’ jolly to Washington DC and New York this week to probe ‘fake news’ will cost the taxpayer more than £30,000, according to estimates obtained by Guido. This website understands jet-setting MPs on the DCMS Select Committee trip have already left the country, despite the main evidence session not taking place until Thursday, when evidence will be taken from tech bosses on a visit to George Washington University, Washington DC. The Committee has already heard evidence from representatives of tech companies in Britain. They do have London offices…

Arrangements for these kind of jaunts are made through Commons Liaison Committee. According to an estimate provided to Guido this afternoon:

  • Fights of 3 to 10 hours in length during the day should be in premium economy class. Ministers’ private offices also have a deal with BA, so one assumes this is extended to members for committee travel. Flights longer than 3 hours overnight (which would be from Dulles) can be taken in business. But assuming they don’t take business, and looking 1 month ahead, then premium economy from LHR to JFK and then Dulles to LHR between 5th and 9th March for 9 people (8 committee members, 1 clerk) would come to £23,543.19.
  • Hotels in Manhattan for 2 nights and then DC would come to £5,226.68. This is 2 nights at the Row NYC (4-star, Midtown Manhattan) at £2,130.68 and 2 nights at the State Plaza Hotel (3 star, very near George Washington University) which came to £3,096, both for 9 separate rooms.
  • Assuming a food allowance of £50 per person per day, so £2,250.
  • Amtrak from New York to DC would cost £603.27.
  • This gives a total of £31,623.14.

Peeved parliamentarians say attention seeking remainer DCMS committee chair Damian Collins is using the trip to bolster his personal reputation. Enquiries to the DCMS Select Committee did not yield an exact figure for the cost of the trip.

A Taxpayers’ Alliance spokesman told Guido:

“I’m not sure taxpayers will be too proud that their hard-earned cash will be splashed on an all-expenses-paid trip for politicians to lecture journalists on ‘fake news’. It’s even less impressive that they are refusing to disclose the cost of this jaunt to Washington D.C.- it’s almost as if they are worried about the reaction of this egregious use of our money. In the future, our elected servants should worry more about how they spend our money and less about lectures with foreign media.”

Just download Skype?

No, Andrea Jenkyns and Jack Lopresti Have Not Called Their Baby Brexit

Classic clickbait from the Sun online team this morning, claiming Tory MPs Andrea Jenkyns and Jack Lopresti have named their baby ‘Brexit Clifford’. Click on the link and you see he is actually just called Clifford. Not that that’s stopping Remainers take the mickey.

Labour Peddle More Animal Sentience Fake News

Labour are clearly taking fake news lessons from the Indy’s infamous viral story about the Tories and animal sentience. Their response to Michael Gove’s new Animal Welfare Bill this morning claims it is not “equivalent to current EU standards” and “does not appear to cover wild animals – giving this Tory Government freedom to pursue their pro-fox hunting agenda across England”. This is unmitigated BS from shadow Defra spokesman Sue Hayman…

First, Gove’s bill objectively goes further than the existing EU standards on animal sentience. The EU legislation only recognises animal sentience in EU-related policy in six areas – agriculture, fisheries, transport, internal market, research and technological development and space policies. The new Defra bill applies to all domestic policy, not simply repatriated EU policy, in all areas, not merely the six covered by the EU. By any fair reading, the new bill goes significantly further than current EU standards…

As for Hayman’s claim that the sentience measure does not cover wild animals, this is literally fake news – it does. The fox hunting jibe is also rubbish, the hunting ban ain’t going to be repealed. Labour saw how mega-viral the Indy fake news story went, Sue Hayman’s response today is another cynical attempt to spread post-truth nonsense…

And a special mention for the Guardian’s Jonathan Freedland, who says there is “no need to leave the EU” to secure higher animal welfare standards. Actually we do have to leave the EU to ban live animal exports and products that don’t meet our welfare standards. Jonathan is big on calling out fake news and post-truth politics so sure he will want to correct his tweet…

Indy Retracts Animal Sentience Story

The Independent has retracted its story claiming that “the Tories have rejected all scientists and voted that animals don’t feel pain” and admitted that it circulated false information to potentially millions of people. In a clarification published last night, the Indy says its report “was not right”:

“Put simply, what happened is this: MPs did not vote that animals are not sentient creatures…

Campaigners – and some news coverage – initially said that the Government had voted against recognising sentience. The Independent was among publishers that reported the story in that way. But it became clear that this claim was not right, even though it had been interpreted by some campaigners in that way. (The Independent updated its coverage to ensure it was accurate).”

The original Indy story was shared thousands of times and was a key factor in half a million people signing a petition repeating the claim. Stories about the Tories and animal sentience were viewed by 2 million people this week. Doubt the Indy’s retraction will be seen by a tenth of that.

Ben Fogle Sorry For Sharing Animal Sentience Fake News Story

Fair play to Ben Fogle, who tells Guido “I am happy to apologise and add clarity” after he tweeted the viral fake news story on animal sentience to his 336,000 followers. Sue Perkins, Rachel Riley, Caroline Lucas and the RSPCA have been less willing to admit they were wrong…

Viral Animal Sentience Fake News Story Seen By 2 Million People

This week a number of stories claiming the Tories had voted that animals are not sentient beings went mega-viral. An article on the Independent website – shared thousands of times on social media – reported “The Tories have rejected all scientists and voted that animals don’t feel pain”.[…] Read the rest

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BBC News at Ten Promotes Fake News Site Skwawkbox

The BBC has taken the inexplicable decision of promoting fake news site Skwawkbox on the News at Ten. Skwawkbox is not simply a left-wing or Corbynista news site. It deliberately peddles knowing untruths with the aim of going viral and misleading its audience – it is the definition of fake news.[…] Read the rest

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Trickett Tweets Fake News

Labour Shadow Cabinet member and top Corbynista Jon Trickett excelled himself this morning by retweeting a patently fake BBC News graphic which falsely claimed Theresa May sought to release Ian Brady. Goes without saying the graphic is not a real BBC story. […] Read the rest

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Fake News Foe Barry Gardiner’s Fake Review For His Wife

Corbynista Barry Gardiner has been busy bashing the mainstream media for dealing in ‘fake news’ and spin. But it looks like Barry knows a thing or too about faking-up some positive coverage. The Amazon page for his wife Caroline Smith’s book Thistles of the Hesperides carries a review posted by “gardsmithcb@aol.com“. […] Read the rest

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Lying Lib Dems Peddle Fake News

The LibDems are widely regarded as the dirtiest campaigners in British politics, stooping to lows well beneath their Tory and Labour rivals. This takes the biscuit even by their standards. In Wimbledon and Raynes Park the LibDems have produced a fake newspaper with the aim of deceiving voters into believing they are reading neutral coverage about their candidate.[…] Read the rest

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Isabel Oakeshott: Wikipedia is Hotbed of Fake News

Wales was no match for Isabel…[…] Read the rest

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Clive Lewis Slammed by Pollsters ICM for Spreading Fake News

Clive Lewis has been slammed by pollsters ICM for spreading a fake news graphic showing a purported Labour lead in his Norwich South constituency.[…] Read the rest

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Quote of the Day

Councillor John Thomas, Keith Vaz’s Leicester East Constituency Labour Party Chairman says…

“This is great disappointment to me, realising that I have spent over 30 years of my life working for a party that I now know that I have nothing in common with. This is not the party I joined, the party for decent working people. I can no longer follow the clown that leads the Labour Party, he is heavily influenced by the Trotskyite Len McCluskey and is now as the Hoki Coki leader, in out, and shake it all about he has turned this great party into a laughing stock.”

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