So here’s a fun test then

The BBC is to assemble a team to fact check and debunk deliberately misleading and false stories masquerading as real news.

Amid growing concern among politicians and news organisations about the impact of false information online, news chief James Harding told staff on Thursday that the BBC would be “weighing in on the battle over lies, distortions and exaggerations”.

Alright, this is true, this ain’t.

We in the Labour party, who have so often been on the wrong side of misrepresentation and unfair attacks from the rightwing media, have a responsibility to be vigilant and reject fake news material on social media and elsewhere – even if it purports to come from the left. Everyone who wants to see honest and rigorous news reporting, proper fact-checking, investigative journalism and robust political debate also has an interest in fighting fake news. The only people who have anything to fear from this inquiry are those who are deliberately spreading stories they know to be untrue or those who are turning a blind eye to it.

We have a responsibility to stand up for good journalism everywhere. It is an essential part of our free speech and our democracy. The old adage that a lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes has never been more true. The growing risks posed to our democracy mean we can no longer ignore the threat from the proliferation of false news stories.

Okey Dokey.

At which point an interesting test. Will these proposed systems actually insist upon killing off fake news?

For example, both Nick Clegg and Peter Mandelson have recently claimed that Brexit means we must impose tariffs upon imports into the UK. Both are, potentially at least, in line for European Union pensions. And the insistence that WTO rules mean we must impose import tariffs is undoubtedly fake news. To the point that the WTO themselves sigh when you call up to check it. What, this lie again?

So, are these two claims things which would be marked as fake news? And if not, why not?

25 comments on “So here’s a fun test then

  1. Fuck all this noise.

    The war aim of all those opposed to socialist tyranny is the BBC rapidly shut down and out of business forever.

    If there are “memes” to be spread that is the one–not always being in reaction to lying leftist crap.

    Although since the purpose of the anti-fake news gang is to spread fake leftist news , it should not be too hard to trip the lying socialist bastards up enough times to turn their efforts into farce.

    As with “Trump and the Russian Prossies” nonsense.

  2. All the scary predictions concerning climate change amount to the deliberate dissemination of misinformation.

  3. I’m sure it’ll just turn out to be another asymmetric check in the service of lefty talking points…

  4. Actually, the test will be with equialent talking points that are trivially true but entirely misleading. The sort of things that on US fact check sites get “mostly true” when it’s a D and “mostly false” when it’s an R who says them.

  5. It’s not a scandal if it’s not public, and it’s not public if it isn’t in the msm. So, no scandals.

  6. The internet increasingly makes these outlets utterly irrelevant. This is their last attempt at relevancy before the internet (and their conduct this year) ruins them. It won’t work, the cat’s out of the bag.

  7. I just can’t get my head round how all these post-modernists seem to suddenly expect things to neatly fit into the categories of ‘true’ and ‘false’.

  8. This will not end well for the BBC when they are forced to acknowledge some currently non-authorised facts about RoP, race, genders and climate.

  9. This will not end well for the BBC when they are forced to acknowledge some currently non-authorised facts about RoP, race, genders and climate

    They will simply select the facts that suit their ideological assumptions and ignore or suppress the others.

    Listen to the BBC bleating about the current NHS ‘crisis’, and note that increased demand resulting from high immigration is never mentioned as a contributory factor.

  10. ‘We have a responsibility to stand up for good journalism everywhere.’

    Like journalism is a Special Calling.

    It is only journalists who still believe in their virtue.

  11. Where are the job vacancies? As with all this sort of guff, like internet content assessment, if the jobs vacancies aren’t being advertised, it’s not happening.

  12. The catch phrase for the checkers will be “There is no evidence to support X”. When they don’t like something the evidence threshold will be high therefore casting doubts. When they like something the threshold will be low.

    Why be surprised? The MSM has lost its authority so why would a fact checking unit restore it?

  13. NielsR,

    “So what’s BBC News been doing so far, without a ‘team’ to fact-check stories?”

    In my naivety I assumed it was a journalists job to check the veracity of their story and where there was doubt prove it to the editor.

    Given BBC journalists aren’t under the same pressures as those working for commercial organisation we can only ask – WTF have they been doing up till now?

  14. Andrew, this is the MSM’s attempt to restore its authority as a priestly caste. I think it might work.

  15. “…a responsibility to be vigilant and reject fake news material on social media and elsewhere – even if it purports to come from the left.”

    Note the f’ing arrogance. If news is fake it could only PURPORT to come from the left. It couldn’t actually come from the left. Because everything the left says is true.

  16. In related news I notice that a certain accountant is predicting that Tristan Hunt will quit being an MP in order to look for a job. Good polishing of that crystal ball there. He’s just about got it tuned to “yesterday”.

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