Whoever is running Stop Funding Fake News - the site is so anonymous as to decline to publish so much as one name - has garnered the support of Countdown numbers person Rachel Riley, who has this week told anyone who will listen that the campaign has persuaded another big name to stop putting advertising on websites which SFFN has decreed are peddling Fake News, although not all are doing this.
“I am at Old Trafford, and I just want to say a huge Thank You to Manchester United ahead of the derby [that worked well, then]. They’ve agreed to stop funding Fake News. They are total legends. I love you [inaudible] my club. Thank you Man United” she told. So it has to be assumed that the club has made some kind of statement. So, to get some idea of what Manchester United is supposed to have done, let’s look at the SFFN site.
Under the heading “The following brands have said they will exclude The Canary, Evolve Politics, Politalite, Westmonster and Rebel Media from their advertising”, there is the club’s name. Leave aside for a moment that Rebel Media is in Canada, and that, as has been pointed out countless times, The Canary and Evolve Politics are regulated by Impress, and if anyone thinks they peddle Fake News, they should use that avenue first.
Fine. So where is the Manchester United statement confirming what Ms Riley and SFFN have claimed? As far as can be ascertained, there isn’t one. Did the club forget to issue one? The Canary hasn’t said anything. Nor has Evolve Politics. Did the club advertise on those sites? I mean, it wouldn’t be much of a success if they hadn’t advertised there in the first place. Would it? And it wouldn’t be, y’know … more Fake News?
The more that SFFN comes under the microscope, the more suspicious both the motives and the background of this site come under question. It can’t be claiming to see off Fake News if it is merely going after sites someone doesn’t like. Moreover, as the Tweeter known as Allotment Lady has pointed out, the SFFN problem with collecting third party data has not gone away, despite rather amateurish looking attempts to pretend otherwise.
Stop Funding Fake News has to come clean. Where, specifically, is the confirmation that Manchester United has done as they claim? And, generally, the apparent Data Protection shortcomings must be addressed. Otherwise, there can be only one conclusion.
And that is that Stop Funding Fake News … is just more Fake News.
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