This week The Economist published an investigation into research carried out by Hope Not Hate, a charity claiming to be fighting extremism, and found it to be extremely misleading.
British MP Jo Cox was shot and killed in June 2016 by Thomas Mair. This occurred in the run up to the EU referendum, and some believe her death was then exploited by the Remain campaign to further their pro-EU cause. In November, Hope Not Hate published a report claiming there had been a huge outpouring of right wing hatred toward Cox on Twitter. Imran Awan and Irene Zempi of Hope Not Hate cited 50,000 tweets of pure vitriol. The mainstream media jumped on this source, and the story grew into a major tale of rising far right sentiment in Britain.
But the story was a fairy tale.
When investigated by The Economist, it was soon found that Awan and Zempi had included various tweets related to Brexit (Britain’s exit from the EU) and had completely misinterpreted other tweets on the subject as being anti-Cox. For example, tweets using the word “hero” along with Cox and Mair were considered to be calling Mair a hero. But after some closer inspection many of those tweets were in fact calling Cox a hero, not her killer Mair. This was a tardy and some would say dishonest approach.
“We estimate that, in reality, of hundreds of thousands of tweets mentioning the MP by name, the number that celebrated her death was at most 1,500, and probably much lower.” The Economist reported.
So the 50,000 turned out to be at most 1,500, a huge difference. This smaller figure is still a disgrace, of course. Celebrating someone’s murder is reprehensible. But when facts are twisted and lies are pushed for an agenda, no one benefits. The public loses faith in the MSM, seeking news elsewhere i.e. Youtube, Twitter, Gab, and Sevenstar News for example. Using “charity group” findings or “think tank” research is a standard tactic of the MSM. It’s a way to avoid blame if the research turns out to be false. The groups are funded by people such as George Soros, a widely recognized billionaire backer of extreme Left wing views. Next time you read a headline quoting a think tank or research group, be aware you may be misled.
Despite Hope Not Hate eventually admitting their findings were not correct, both Awan and Zempi reposted the MSM headlines citing the original flawed findings. This indicates complicit behaviour and intentional deception. If your research is incorrect you withdraw it immediately and apologize. You don’t continue to spread it.
The mainstream media has taken up the term “fake news” with great enthusiasm, using it often to smear any alternative news sources with alternative views. Hillary Clinton has used the term many times. This is a power struggle and a money grab. On the one hand the overwhelmingly Left wing MSM wants to crush dissent and protect its own political agenda. But it also wants to protect its source of income, without which it would vanish. The New York Times is now making a loss in the US, and in Britain The Guardian is facing similar issues. Facebook, Twitter and Youtube are all under pressure to stop fake news (crush dissent), but the filters they use are, of course, Left wing i.e. Snopes.
Clearly this is an ironic and dangerous situation. We have the MSM denouncing fake news, while in fact it is the MSM themselves pushing the fake news. Time and time again this is proven to be the case. The Economist investigation cited here is not uncommon. Do a little research of your own, and you might be surprised at how many MSM stories are castles built on sand, designed to influence you and your vote. By the time many of these stories turn out to be false, the public has lost interest, and is never made aware they were lied to.
Perhaps someone needs to set up a charitable group to investigate Left wing propaganda? It could be called Facts Not Fiction. Any takers?