Post by Oleg Smirnov
.. been presented as brave and uncompromising journalism typical of the BBC
flagship investigative current affairs programme.
But it actually amounted to nothing more than an exercise in misdirecting
the British public as to the true nature and scale of the government's
collusion with jihadists in that country and in doing so the programme
makers obscured rather than exposed the true agenda here. ..
But their efforts are rather paltry compared to Russia's:
Russia is biggest culprit of spreading fake news, says survey of UK social
Poll by humanitarian charity the Syria Campaign sheds light on Britons’
susceptibility to online misinformation
by Ben Quinn
Sat 30 Dec ‘17
More than half of British users of social media surveyed in a new poll have
admitted that they fail to check the original source of online material
before sharing or “liking” it.
The survey, which sheds light on people’s susceptibility to manipulation by
purveyors of “fake news”, also finds that three in four Britons believe tech
companies, such as Twitter and Facebook, and MPs, are not doing enough to
counter the organized online spread of falsehoods by state actors such as
The research by Survation was commissioned by the Syria Campaign – a
humanitarian charity – to accompany a report setting out how Russia is
fuelling a disinformation campaign to cover up atrocities in Syria.
The chair of a House of Commons inquiry last week warned Facebook and
Twitter could face sanctions if they continue to stonewall parliament over
Russian interference in the EU referendum. Damian Collins, chair of the
Department of Culture, Media and Sport select committee, which is looking
into so-called fake news, has given the companies until 18 January to
correct their failure to hand over data he requested about Russian
misinformation campaigns on their platforms.
The poll of more than 2,000 UK adults found Russia was the country most
likely to be regarded as a culprit when it came to online campaigns. Almost
two thirds (64%) believe it is true that certain governments employ people
to mislead the public online, sometimes through fake profiles on social
media networks such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Of those people, 59%
believed Russia was employing people to engage in such activities, followed
by 41% who believed that the US government was doing so. The figure was 32%
for China and 27% for the UK government.
The Syria Campaign’s report, Killing the Truth: How Russia is fuelling a
disinformation campaign to cover up war crimes in Syria, includes additional
data on Russia’s multi-pronged propaganda campaign focusing on Syria’s
humanitarian workers. It found that co-ordinated groups of “bots” and trolls
linked to Russia have reached an estimated 56 million people with tweets
attacking the volunteer rescue workers, known as White Helmets, during 10
key moments of 2016 and 2017.