This thread about how phony news spreads on social networks is interesting and depressing

You’ll have seen by now how a sick four-year-old boy required to sleep on a healthcare facility flooring has ended up being a central figure in the general election project.

First Boris Johnson refused to look at a photo of the bad chap, instead taking a journalist’s phone and packing it in his pocket.

Theories spread out that the image was staged and it was all phony news. Spread by people like Telegraph writer Allison Pearson.

… even thought the healthcare facility itself has actually apologised for what happened.

Which brings us to this thread by @marcowenjones about how fake news spreads on social media and it’s an interesting, depressing, but essential read.

[Thread] 1/ This one is about the fake news claiming that an ill boy on the floor of a healthcare facility in leeds was staged by his mother. We understand the story is genuine, Dr Yvette Oade, chief medical officer at Leeds even apologised

— Marc Owen Jones (@marcowenjones) December 9, 2019

2/ First of all, the bots and sock puppet accounts are on the case on Twitter. As you can see, a similar tweet claiming the mother staged the picture was flowed on Twitter. It’s actually copied and pasted, and the accounts are targeting it at numerous influencers

— Marc Owen Jones (@marcowenjones) December 9, 2019

3/ Even more worrying is on Facebook. The exact same tweet is discussed on lots of fairly dodgy looking FB accounts. What’s more, is that some of these posts are pasted into groups where they get liked and discussed, frequently by individuals who seem to believe it … #bbcqt

— Marc Owen Jones (@marcowenjones) December 9, 2019

4/ In one example, Jason Crosby pastes the tweet on the FB group for”Seaham Have Your Say “. Seaham have your say is a page with 24k followers serving the North Eastern coastal town of Seaham. His post gets 91 remarks and 26 shares.

— Marc Owen Jones (@marcowenjones) December 9, 2019

5/ This one is even more outright. The phony news post on the group March Cambridgeshire Free Discussion with 37k members has 235 remarks and 28 shares. You can see the comments here,– many call out the fakeness, others appear to believe it …

— Marc Owen Jones (@marcowenjones) December 9, 2019

6/ It’s intriguing to note that in addition to targeting national level Facebook groups, a great deal of these accounts are targeting influential regional Facebook groups such as that of Cambridgeshire and Seaham. We understand the role regional FB groups are stated to play in this election

— Marc Owen Jones (@marcowenjones) December 10, 2019

7/ On the other hand, back on Twitter, @Telegraph columnist @allisonpearson retweeted the copy and pasted tweet( obviously in theory the text could still be real– but if so why is distributed by unusual sock puppets). Pearson ‘presumes it is authentic’.

— Marc Owen Jones (@marcowenjones) December 10, 2019

8/ It’s 3.20 am here and I’m exhausted but I’ll wager @allisonpearson is perhaps the most influential supporter of the faked floor theory. Stay tuned for her expose in the telegraph. I hope she spoke with the senior nursing sibling! Night all!

— Marc Owen Jones (@marcowenjones) December 10, 2019

9/ Last one. Remarkably @allisonpearson’a retweet of what appears like a bot was then retweeted by @Fox_Claire (albeit with more cautions– not that it matters truly). Goes to demonstrate how potentially fake accounts and news can spread out so perilous

— Marc Owen Jones (@marcowenjones) December 10, 2019

10/ Crucial Update! Former England Cricketer @KP24 has tweeted to his over 3 million fans the very same copy and paste fake newspaper article perpetuating the misconception that the young boy on the hospital flooring photo was staged. Crisis mode! Excellent early morning #GE 19

— Marc Owen Jones (@marcowenjones) December 10, 2019

And here are just some of the important things people were saying about it.

This thread is just the most grimly fascinatingly dismaying thing. Congratulations, we have actually broken the public sphere.

— Jim Waterson (@jimwaterson) December 10, 2019

Disinformation being spread out today on Twitter & & Facebook in real time. Excellent analysis by professor with competence in network analysis. Last few days prior to election are defining moment for incorrect info spreading. Please assist it unspread

— Carole Cadwalladr (@carolecadwalla) December 10, 2019

The spread of the phony claim that the picture of Jack Williment-Barr was staged looks quite like what occurred in Brazil prior to Bolsonaro won the election. This– in regards to its blatancy and scale– is an entire new advancement in the UK, and it is bloody scary.

— George Monbiot (@GeorgeMonbiot) December 10, 2019

I didn’t think it was possible for the standards of discourse British politics to sink any lower, but it has. In spite of the story being genuine, the Tories are trying to muddy the waters by claiming that an ill young boy on the flooring of a healthcare facility in Leeds was staged by his mother.

— James Melville (@JamesMelville) December 10, 2019


This takedown of the Gillette ad backlash (keep in mind that?) is a fascinating take on how the media works

Source @marcowenjones

The post This thread about how fake news spreads on social media is remarkable and dismaying appeared first on The Poke.

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