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.

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

  1. I still remember Boris Johnson fake News about those Kippers, and it being a EU rule.

    Instead it was a British Rule they themselves made.

  2. I hate to say it, but we need enforceable laws regarding the "facts" used by parties in political debate, and advertising, (manifesto's as well for that matter). Particularly, "numbers" should be backed up with sources that clearly reveal how an estimate was arrived at, and who produced/funded the research the number comes from. No source? Can't use it.

    In an ideal world, we could have a system like drug testing in the olympics. You win a gold medal, but then test positive? Hand the medal back, and 2nd place gets it. You won an election campaign based on facts that turn out to be blatent lies? Hand back the keys to nos. 10, and 2nd place gets them.

  3. The Tory tactic is exactly the same as the Vote Leave Facebook campaign for the referendum, because Dominic Cummings and Boris lying Johnson are the common factor. This time as well as having all the personal data illegally obtained by Cambridge Analytica, and clearly not destroyed, Dominic Cummings has access to government personal data on all of the U.K. population.

  4. I hope we can all agree, regardless of our political orientation or our views on the EU, that Full Fact is an organisation we can fully trust. I certainly do.

  5. 2.40 re drug costs: insulin in UK for type 1 diabetes costs on average $125 a year, in US it is $5700 on average on top of your expensive premiums. I do not call this (1) 2.5x higher and (2) Unrealistic. FT just faked a well known fact. Google it, don't take the FTs word for it. FT must know this, 2.5x higher drug prices was plucked out of thin air. Disgraceful given the title of this clip

  6. The Tories did masquerade as a fact checking site but so did the Labour Party but nothing is said about that. Ask yourself who pays this man.

  7. Don’t know how much this person is being paid but I’ll take his job because he has a strange looking mouth and mine isn’t strange looking so I’ll have his wage thank you very much

  8. Now there’s a thing I have certain rules the first rule is I don’t believe nothing the government tells me nothing you have a nice day?

  9. I'd like to know from Google why they think a website called "labourmanifesto dot co dot uk" which will hoodwink people legitimately searching for that information should be legal. It makes Google part of the scam – are they ok with that?

  10. I hope not.
    I have changed my mind for Putin but if he does support Boris he will get temporary gain but for long term Tory is Putins Enemy.
    But I’m certain Putin will help Boris Win as he has the power! for Brexit of course. Also the Boris links to lie , crime and fraud.
    I will not blame Putin.
    I’m a big fan of Putin after the Hong Kong Issue that means I’m against America!!!
    And my own government that excludes Corbin only but not any of the party that exists in Uk including Labour!

  11. There are only the guilty in the room. Unbuckle yourself from the grey mush and thin greul that is social media and broadcast 'news' and immerse yourself in the issues. Use the brain you have, not other people's opinions to determine who you vote for.

  12. Politicians lie to get votes. Who knew 😅😅😅. All this fake news talk is nonsense. How on earth are you going to audit every piece of political communication. Surely people are smart enough to draw their own conclusions.

  13. #JC4PM is the answer and he is definitely the true fighter for the Many not the Few.
    LibDems=fake Dems=conservatives
    The Liar Tories are shamelessly cheating…

  14. Socialist drivel. Rename the name of the video to " labour activists working for so called fact checking company masquerade behind a false veil or legitimacy"

  15. Boris Johnson is a liar who wants to privatize NHS and is paid by fossil fuel industry and will not do anything about climate change. Vote Tories out.

  16. 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?😕

  17. 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

  18. 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

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

  20. 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…

  21. 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.

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

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

  24. 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”

  25. 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!

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

  27. 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?

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

  29. 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.

  30. 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.

  31. 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.

  32. 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!

  33. 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.

  34. 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

  35. 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.

  36. 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!

  37. 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

  38. 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.

  39. 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!!!

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