How fake news is influencing the UK election | FT


BORIS JOHNSON: The
stakes for this country have seldom been higher, and the
choice has never been starker. WILL MOY: We’re monitoring
the election pretty comprehensively. We’re monitoring TV,
we’re monitoring online, we’re monitoring the
news debates, manifestos. The where we stopped and
were really surprised was when the
conservative party chose to masquerade as an
independent fact checker during the first TV debate. That was a clear
choice to make, and I think is a choice– a
step to cross a line. JEMIMA KELLY: It
also just shows us the level of aggression in
the Tories’ current strategy. They then tweeted
things as if they were facts throughout the
debate against Jeremy Corbyn, and at the end, pronounced
Boris Johnson the winner. Either they were
trying to fool people, or they were trying
to get a reaction, making what they’d done
go even more viral, because that’s one
of the strategies. WILL MOY: I think we’re seeing
quite aggressive campaigning from all the political parties. Fairly consistent
misrepresentation by political parties of other political
parties’ positions. JEMIMA KELLY: The
internet allows you to doctor videos
and other content to make it seem like
something has been said or something has been done
that actually isn’t true. PIERS MORGAN: Why would
the EU give you a good deal if they know that
you’re going to actively campaign against it? WILL MOY: To see a
political party manipulate a video of its opponent
giving an interview to make it look
like, in this case, Keir Starmer had no
answer to a question, which he actually managed
to answer in that interview, was a very surprising thing. JEMIMA KELLY: And
clearly, they had used a shot of him waiting
to answer a question, and then put it after
the question was asked. It was a deliberate ploy to make
it look like Labour’s Brexit minister didn’t know what
he was talking about. WILL MOY: That is a sort of
classic disinformation tactic. It’s not the sort
of thing you expect in a responsible
democratic election. We haven’t seen the Labour
party manipulating videos. We haven’t seen the Labour
party impersonating journalists in their election
communications. JEREMY CORBYN: 451 pages
of unredacted documents and information. WILL MOY: What we have
seen is aggressive examples of them trying to misrepresent
the position of other parties, certainly in the view
of other parties. Labour is claiming that the
Tories are going to do a trade deal with the US that will
cost the NHS 500 million pounds a week. That’s an extraordinarily
large amount of money. That’s equivalent
to about a fifth of what we spend on health. The US would have to do a
trade deal with us, where UK drugs costs go up 2.5 times
to match what is currently paid in the US, and
the British government would have to be
willing to absorb extra costs of about 27 billion
pounds to the public purse. That’s a pretty
extraordinary claim, based on a very
extreme scenario. We think it’s unrealistic. Labour are, nonetheless,
repeating it heavily to their voters. WOMAN: You need to vote
for the Liberal Democrats. WILL MOY: Both the
liberal Democrat party and for conservative
party have been creating campaign leaflets that
are dressed up to look as if their local newspapers. We think that’s misleading. We think it’s trespassing on
independent journalism, which is vital in an
election campaign. And we think it’s inappropriate
for political parties to do that. WOMAN: We deserve
better than what– WILL MOY: There was a
tactic from the Lib Dems we’ve seen repeatedly in
local constituencies, which is bar charts of who can win here. This sort of claim
that we’re second or we’re on the verge of winning
possibly the most far fetched we’ve seen so far was using
the results of a recent police and crime commissioner
election as if it was some guide
to how people will vote in the general election. To put that in context,
15% of people in that area had voted for the police
and crime commissioner, and a general election
turnout we would expect to be nearer 70% or 80%. So it’s no guide whatsoever. JEMIMA KELLY: The
spotlight is on the Tories. I think they have taken a
more aggressive strategy. If you look at some of their
Facebook ads, a lot of them are targeting Jeremy Corbyn,
fear based messaging in order to make people worried about
what a Jeremy Corbyn led government would be like. WILL MOY: If the most common
tactic we’ve seen from Labour in this election is to look
at what might happen in trade negotiations with the US,
take the worst case scenario, and then tell that story
as vividly as they can. The most common tactic we
saw from the conservatives, particularly early
in this election, was to imagine what
Labour might do, despite the fact that
they haven’t published their manifesto,
make something up, and then say it’s going
to cost you a fortune. They came up with essentially
a completely false number, and then they got wall to
wall coverage of it for a day. And journalists who are
trying to honestly report on the campaign are in
danger of being used to spread false information. JEMIMA KELLY: The Tories
launched a website called labourmanifesto.co.uk And so if
you were to search Labour just before the launch
of the manifesto, the top result would be this
fake Tory website called labourmanifesto.co.uk. WILL MOY: They were
buying online adverts to get to the top. There’s a lot of
spend going into that. And there’s not a lot of
scrutiny about spending. JEMIMA KELLY: Google have said
that they’re no longer going to allow political adverts that
are targeted based on someone’s supposed political leanings,
but they are obviously still allowing this
kind of thing that can manipulate potential voters. WILL MOY: Elections
are fought and won based on thin margins
in many places, and it will be a relatively
small number of constituencies and a relatively small number
of votes that determine the outcome of this election. If some of those votes
are retained by deception, then we have a problem. JEMIMA KELLY: Yes,
digital strategy will have an impact on
the election outcome. MARK ZUCKERBERG: Even if we
wanted to ban political ads, it’s not even clear
where you draw the line. JEMIMA KELLY: Facebook makes
huge majority of its revenues from advertising. So if it was to stop all
political advertising, as a lot of people are
saying it should do, that would massively
dent its revenues. The impetus is not going
to come from big tech, it’s probably not going
to come from government. The impetus is
probably going to have to come from some sort
of external pressure, whether that be campaign groups
or just the general public. WILL MOY: And we have had
almost two decades of warnings from the electoral
commission and others that our election
laws are out of date. That principals that are long
established in our election law, like campaigning
materials should be transparent and should say who
they come from, although they apply
offline, do not apply online, simply because we
haven’t updated election laws. We need to do that. We need to do it urgently.

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Comments

  1. London bridge attack is proving "Pulama attack" moment. Isn't it amazing how terrorism arising out of Pakistan is impacting democratic process in other countries?😕

  2. so many idiots that will vote in this election believe everything they see as well. plenty of other idiots think the bbc is impartial as well

  3. Labour privatised the NHS with PFI and the EU is mainly private medicine and has signed a private healthcare deal with Canada and is negotiation one with the US.The EU is calling for more harmonisation and integration.Bye Bye NHS

  4. There's nothing far fetched about the Tories allowing American pharma to plunder the NHS. It's their modus operandi.

  5. The fake news is that the EU is not Nazi Germany… Paris Agreement is also a carbon fraud – 2018 renewable energy investment – US $65 billion, Germany $10 billion. They can sign on to our agreement and we will tell the Nazi's what to do, they have no other choice. We're looking at 20 years of Republican after Obama's $10trillion loss and crippling the economy, doubling the debt and killing the median income, just now recovering to $60k, Nazi's love him in the EU though…

  6. By voting Tories, British are digging their own graves. Tories donors are multimillionaires. The elite dinning club, for example, is behind £130m plus donations to the Tories and so much more. They all have the only one desire to make UK a little US. No human rights, increase of powerty, more homeless people, more coruption, destruction of NHS, reduction of social services etc.

  7. ‘We havent seen labour manipulating videos’ we HAVE seen their budget proposals and theyre lying to most of the working publics face

  8. What disgusts me is that Middle Eastern geopolitics has been transported into the campaign. It’s deliberate and very dangerous

  9. The PM’s kneejerk reaction to the terror attack elicited widespread criticism, notably from the former head of the parole board, Nick Hardwick.

    Hardwick told BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme that suggestions of an “easy solution” to the failings leading up to the terror attack are “fundamentally mistaken”.

    “Budget cuts to prisons and the probation service have made the British public less safe”, Hardwick added.

    Describing his son as “angry, frustrated, selfless and stubborn”, Merritt senior said that “Jack would understand the political timing with visceral clarity”.

    “He [Jack] would be seething at his death, and his life, being used to perpetuate an agenda of hate that he gave his everything fighting against”

  10. So why cant we SUE CNN (CHINA NEWS NETWORK) and SUE ADAM for telling lies on national TV?

    FAKE NEWS will not go away! We have to sue these criminal lairs and bankrupt them!

    Then , and only then, will they think twice before they LIE TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AGAIN!

    I would love to see 1,000 People sue these FAKE News Anti American Traitor Criminals for Billions of Dollars!

  11. If all these 'fact checkers' know everything that is true and everything that is not, why aren't they standing as politicians themselves?

  12. Tory party. Fascists that understand GCSE democracy.
    Labour party. Communists who's socialist manifesto contains 'promises' that are illegal under capitalist EU law. Also confused about how democracy works. Lots of catch 22's here.
    Lib Dem's… Sorry Lib UN-Dem's… desperate for your permission to go against the people in every and any future election or referendum if they don't like the result. Also confused by the finishing line in any race.

    Not much of a realistic choice is there?

  13. All the sparrows have disappeared so now the conservatives are telling the starving children to eat squirrels.

  14. Fake news: "We are seeing fake news by other parties."
    The Conservatives and Lib-Dems are both publicly lying, blatantly and completely.
    The press, including the FT, have been smearing Labour for the past 4 years.
    Labour have been direct, honest and presented verified evidence of the trade deal with the NHS implications, to the press and public.
    These are not equal in any way.
    So one party, Labour, is presenting a direct and honest campaign, but the FT are trying to sell the line that they're just as bad as the Conservatives and Lib-Dems.

  15. People are acting like this is something new lol. This is what happens every election.

    Anyways lets kick Corbin Monoxide out and vote for Boris. I've actually never voted for anything, not even brexit. But I feel like I have to this time, just to help keep the 70 year old collage student from completely obliterating the country.

  16. Seventy serving and former Labour officials have given sworn statements as part of a Jewish Labour Movement dossier into the party's handling of antisemitism allegations.
    The evidence submitted by JLM to the equality watchdog says Labour is suffering from the "corrosive disease" of institutional racism through "unwitting prejudice, ignorance, thoughtlessness and racist stereotyping."
    In a 53-page dossier to the body's inquiry, which has been leaked in redacted form, JLM says a former staff member in Mr Corbyn's office claimed "senior members" of the leader's team dismissed calls for action against Ken Livingstone as a "Jewish conspiracy" and "political smear campaign".
    The submission also notes that the membership secretary in the Tottenham Constituency Labour Party objected to membership applications by 25 strictly Orthodox Jews and asked for home visits to their houses.
    JLM says: "This was not a requirement for other prospective members and appears to have been direct discrimination against Jewish applicants for membership."
    In addition to the 70 statements sent by serving and ex-Labour officials JLM has been sent more than 100 testimonies from Jewish and non-Jewish party members about antisemitism that they say they have experienced or witnessed at party events.
     JLM says in the submission, which will feed into the EHRC's formal probe into whether the party is antisemitic, there "can be little doubt that the party is now suffering from this corrosive disease," and invites "the Commission to say so.
    “JLM hopes the commission will recognise the overwhelming evidence that antisemitic behaviour is rife within the party, and that the party is itself responsible for committing, permitting and encouraging antisemitic acts.
    “The party’s structures, processes and employees have all contributed to an environment that is profoundly hostile to Jewish members and an organisation that is institutionally antisemitic.”
    The dossier says that 136 complaints were outstanding in October, while around 100 allegations were not logged in the system at all.
    Labour has not provided any official statistics on the issue since July but claim the Jewish Labour Movement's figures are inaccurate.
    One part of the evidence JLM submitted includes a signed affidavit from a former Labour official who alleges they were asked to transfer details of complaints being investigated at Labour's headquarters to leader Jeremy Corbyn's office.
    The Labour party has always insisted that Jeremy Corbyn and his team have not interfered in antisemitism complaints.
    However a whistleblower says that they were ordered to deliver cases to the leader’s office on USB sticks for his staff to “review, draw up reports and make recommendations regarding further action”.
    The whistleblower says that they were told to lie about what they were doing with the USB sticks and told to only discuss the sticks using their personal email rather than official Labour Party accounts.
    The JLM document lays the blame for the problem at Mr Corbyn's door, saying the party has become "a welcoming refuge for antisemites" since he became leader in 2015.
    "He has done that in a number of ways, including by publicly supporting antisemites and antisemitic tropes. The Labour Party is cast in his image," it says.
    It adds the party has failed to "openly and adequately" recognise the problem and calls this a failure of "policy, example of leadership".
    JLM sets out the definition of institutional racism to the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and invites it to conclude it applies to Labour. 
    The widely-anticipated EHRC probe was announced in March but is now not expected to report until July next year.
    Many have shared shocked reactions to the report.

  17. The worse fake news I have seen in my lifetime, indeed as bad as Hitler/Goebbels' evil propaganda of the 1930s is as follows:

    The accusation of antisemitism against Labour is one of the most disgusting and depressing things I've ever seen in politics. We're asked to believe – repeatedly, over a period of several years – that in this age of social media, there is widespread antisemitism in the UK's party of staunch anti-racism that somehow only expresses itself in verbal abuse and leaves essentially no digital paper trail – and we must take this on faith, and sufficiently so to be outraged. We are then presented with the circular argument that all this has – understandably – stirred serious anxieties among many British Jews and told stentorianly that we must take such anxieties seriously – as if just the fact that someone else believes a news story means we must too. And by the way, never mind the Jewish people standing up against this, they're not proper Jews or they're dupes of the left, and never mind if they're Jews within the Labour Party and say they've never witnessed or experienced any abuse, just don't give them a voice at all. 
    And meanwhile, we have a Prime Minister who once, in his capacity as editor of The Spectator, published a column by Taki in which the author proudly described himself as an antisemite and discussed a global Jewish conspiracy, and members of whose party openly worried that, with the party led by Michael Howard, Maurice Saatchi and Oliver Letwin – all of them Jewish – it would lose touch with its Englishness. And that's just the start of the charge sheet of antisemitism against the Tories, yet of course there is no stink about this in the British media, including the so-called left media, at all. 
    And then people like me have to watch members of our own bien pensant liberal families fall for this vicious nonsense, the worst aspect of which may be that it is so transparent that it sows widespread skepticism about even genuine charges of antisemitism in the future.
    This week, Teresa May unveiled a statue of Nancy Astor who believed that Hitler and the Nazis were the solution to the "Jewish problem". Boris then visited the statue to pay homage to a "fellow fascist traveller". The BBC's coverage of Astor's views? Zero!

  18. Technology has only highlighted the corruption that has always been there. The same tactics have been used in every election since the dawn of man.

  19. I’ve been trying to research politics for this election as this is my first vote, and the only misinformation I’ve fallen to is Corbyn and his lies about the NHS trade documents my friends all believe its real in the sense that Boris Johnson’s going to sell the NHS which there is no evidence of. Chances are if someone is following a parties Facebook page they tend to vote that way anyway

  20. BREXIT IS A SILENT COUPE by people who want to own the UK, milk it dry and get applauded for doing so. Here's more proof: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTJ43O8ZUfE Thus also be suspicious of slander on Corbyn, everything to prevent him winning.

  21. So, Labour tell you the worst case senario, but a real possiblity (Have you seen the cost of drugs in the US?), and the Tories and Lib/Dems lie, constantly, and they are comparable? Really!

  22. Labour is a communist party now since Corbyn is a communist. Hes pretty much said so during his life as a politition. And joe swinson is campaigning against democracy by going against the peoples vote. Discusting

  23. The conservatives are right. If labour takes power they are going to adore than 40% to the national debt in 5 years. Omg. So what was austerity for?? Sonall that hurt was for nothing and the labour party will crash the economy again and the conservatives will have to fix it again. How about we skip that step and just go from fixing to growing.

  24. The country's sick to death of all those with vested interests and their spiv propaganda about the Labour Party being communist.
    Imagine a future with BloJo and Chump as future leaders – that's something to be concerned about!
    Vive la EU!!!

  25. MY BRITISH BROTHERS AND SISTERS…
    ————————————————————-
    Ahead lies the battle to save the sacred Union of
    the united kingdom which the Brexit beast stands to devour.
    this battle to save the unity of the UK and EU by defeating
    the dark and evil forces of fascist Nazi Brexiteers must be fought
    on the ground, in the trenches, on the sea and in the air and to the last breath of the last democratic soldier.
    —————————————————————
    Zulfiqar Tareen, a friend of all, the enemy of none.
    www.facebook.com/zuliftareen1

  26. To stop the Tories you need to vote tactically to keep them out. There's no point voting for Labour in a seat where only the LibDems or Plaid can beat the Tories, and the opposite is obviously true, don't vote LibDem where Labour is the only party that can stop the Tory.

    In Scotland, they need to remove 12 Tory MPs. Check how your constituency voted here:

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election/2017/results

  27. I’m comfortable with fake news, what do politicians want to control what people think, wtf. Folks who are old enough to vote are adults, stop any more bull about them being incapable of independently assessing for themselves what they think or don’t think. I think we should increase the quantity of fake news, just to ensure that the cognitive faculties are operating independently of any ‘news’ designed to interfere with folks decision making processes, folks can form their own opinion, that’s a right.

  28. This has been going on for years. It is only apparent now that it is all on the internet. Same tactics just a new delivery method. All parties are using manipulation to get your vote. This is how it always has been and this is how it always will be. Either educate yourself or just accept it.

  29. The mainstream media is by far the biggest purveyors of fake news. They do it under the shroud of assumed legitimacy of large glossy corporations. It's highly effective and in great demand.

  30. There's missing tech layers on the internet, without which fake news will never stop. These need to be built, and they are getting built right now. More about it here. https://medium.com/@marcin.zietek/lets-fix-fake-news-and-online-disinformation-here-s-how-18a40037eb68

  31. the brexiteers have planted many fake stories to race bait, and fear monger a pro brexit vote. They also created fake videos of immigrants beating "white" brittons, stealing and various other bigoted fake stories.
    The government delayed release of economic studies not favorable to to brexit.
    Brexit because you can't cure stupid.

  32. 4 million children in poverty. 80 billion loan will sort that out. No EU deal, no worries we have a great deal.
    Let's not even bother with lib Dems, snp, or dup.
    Partly because 50 % of the extra parties misunderstand ppp and ppi payments. And how this most definitely means you cannot join the EU as an independent country, when you dont even understand your own fiscal policy let alone a duff unions policies that makes no profit, and charges you for the privilege, yet lies in bed with banks, you don't fill the people with confidence, you fill them with bullets.

  33. Labour leader jc a decent kind inspiring man plus good Labour leader and I'm glad that in December 7th 2019 I woke up ,saw with my one eye sight,listened to all this Labour leader stands for,59yrs and Labour always believed in equality .This Labour leader can change UK for the better, unlike Tories this Labour leader has empathy plus compassion for our suffering as poor people and on sick like me,also poor.that counts in a rich western country like UK where were seen how unequal Tories can be when it us ,the poor and sick and homeless in UK.bedroom tax Tory,sanctions Tory,cuts Tory,9yrs Tory austerity,more food banks in Tory UK,more homeless in Tory UK,Tories lie and Labour does not.labour built our hospital system for all but Tories will sell it off,Tory liars.tory leader like a tape recorder,nothing new and lies.labour will do a lot for UK plus it's people and that includes all unlike Tories who take from poor but give to the rich like before this election.my one eye sight blurry now,tired eye.yet some things have got to be said and that is there are more important issues than Tory crap eu deal which took 3yrs to get plus lies.like lies at start of this Tory referendum and this crap eu deal is not what I voted for.this eu leave voter says bin this as were be better off remain in eu.your Tory crap eu deal would take years after of negotiations.my older son was going to vote Tory but hurray because talking to him means he's not going to vote now.but of course I may get him to vote Labour like me.ill on sick and postal vote never came.corrupt.but I go and vote even if I get 2nd haemorrgh on the way.because I believe in decency ,equality and a kinder UK for all and not just few.i don,t want a liar, jester, Tory pm in government and I don,t want a crap eu deal, I don,t want more years of Tory corruption and fraud and lies.i don,t want more Tory years of Tories taking from poor and cutting taxes for rich , rich Tory supporters of which includes Jews.your all wrong who say horrid things about Labour leader who a decent man and this Tory liar jester leader not decent,not honest and he's a racist plus bad apple .every party has bad apples but Tory party has a leader who a bad apple. Ps it's not nice or decent to say lies and go after the Labour leader's character.but you Tories will do anything to get back in government,like last time that 100 billion dirty dup deal at tax payers exspense.when or if I reach 60yrs next year 2020, I hope Labour gets back in government so Tories cannot kill more from they unequal mean cruel policys

  34. Ps 59yrs and I seen plus heard lot in my lifetime.one eye sight now days.but my last words.how can you nasty mean liars Tories sleep at night when in Tory 9yrs so many people in UK died from your policy of cruel nasty inequality which attacks us the most vulnerable in UK.god will judge you Tories. Amen. And God bless all these decent poor people who died because of your unequal mean nasty cruel Tory policy.s amen.

  35. BREAKING NEWS!!! Political parties make false claims and phoney promises in election campaigns. What has the world come to…

    Does that mean we cannot blindly trust them but have to inform ourselves to form an independent opinion?!

  36. So much legislative excess regarding invasions of privacy and constrictions of liberty, and yet there are no suitable laws for electoral integrity

  37. The terrorist attack was all planned by boris johnson so he has a chance to say something about immigration. He is a racist person.

  38. Trying to draw an equivalency between the conservatives and lib dems straight up lying and labour stating a very possible consequence of a policy is really lazy and shockingly poor journalism. Choose a side, being neutral when one is much worse than the other isn't a good thing

  39. The only fake news is that which comes out of a tory politicians mouth. The Labour Party is for the people and will make change and change for the better. Hail JC

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