Jo Swinson warns of ‘fake news’ after viral squirrel abuse story
- Credit: Archant
The leader of the Liberal Democrats Jo Swinson has warned the public to be wary of sharing misinformation after a story went viral claiming she had abused squirrels.
Doctored images claiming to show an article on the Mirror's website were shared thousands of times across Twitter and Facebook last week, including by a number of pro-Brexit and Brexit Party groups.
The false story, written by non-existant journalist "Wurrance Telephene", claimed the Lib Dem leader was blasted by animal rights charities after "harrowing footage" was found on a private Facebook account.
Speaking to LBC today, she said: "This sort of fake news is surprising to me, now that I am the leader of a party. This isn't the only one, there has been various other fake news story. Sometimes using the byline of an established journalist.
"There was one that used Peter Walker's name from the Guardian and he had to go online to debunk it and say he never wrote it.
You may also want to watch:
"But they're quite sophisticated in that people believe them. I do think it's worrying because it has echoes of what we've seen in other elections. Particularly when you think about fake news and the technological possibility for deep fakes, where videos can be faked.
"I think it's very difficult to prevent the spread."
- 1 This chumocracy is costing our country
- 2 Nigel Farage loses nearly 50,000 followers after Twitter suspends QAnon accounts
- 3 Fifteen ways to fix Britain
- 4 Michel Barnier tells UK to be 'very careful' in Brexit diplomatic status row
- 5 Bob Geldof takes swipe at No 10 saying 'lying is second nature' to them
- 6 Independent SAGE adviser gives scathing assessment of Priti Patel's £800 Covid fines
- 7 George Osborne hopes for Brexit dividend
- 8 Holyrood in talks with EU to extend Erasmus scheme to Scottish students
- 9 Jacob Rees-Mogg says it's 'all the EU's fault' musicians can't tour Europe
- 10 Tory minister admits UK rejected EU's music visa offer in order to 'take back control' of borders
READ MORE: 'A lie every day' - Radio caller slams ex-minister over PM's liesREAD MORE: Nigel Farage is trolled after telling Leavers 'not to waste their vote'The post received few interactions until it was shared by a Brexit Party account on November 14 with nearly 9,000 followers.
It then picked up more than 20,000 interactions across social media.
Become a Supporter
The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.