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Saturday 27 April 2019

Stop Funding Fake News - Making It Up?

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 headingThe 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.

As has been pointed out, “The new ‘privacy policy’, is pants. It names third party sellers/partners & says ‘look at their privacy policies’. Irrelevant. ‘They are collecting your data we aren’t.’ An email address IS data & what do people divulge when making contact?
There was more. “See @iconews definition of personal data incl. cookies. On that basis SFFN is a data processor so they must [say] how long they will hold your personal data, (not open ended) what they will use it for, how they store it and where (EU or outside EU) … as I see it this ‘privacy policy’ attempts to tick the right boxes but is a fail. Nothing there to convince me SFFN understands its obligations in properly responding to subject access requests and it must tell people how they can complain” (full thread HERE).
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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1 comment:

westpier said...

Exactly, the SFFN account seems to struggle providing actual evidence of any genuine successes. I guess the other issue is how advertising works on the internet. As an example, do Man Utd specifically pay The Canary directly to advertise on its website? Or is it via a larger web of advertisers and determined on individual interests no matter what website they're on? ie. Rachel Riley supports Man Utd so she will see adverts for them on various websites. In my case I often use Ebay so will see their adverts in various places.