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Sunday 12 May 2019

Stop Funding Fake News - Another Dodgy Claim

It seems the still not properly explained claim by the anonymous Stop Funding Fake News website about which news sites Manchester United Football Club may, or may not, have blacklisted was not an isolated occurrence. Now, SFFN is claiming another success, but once more without ponying up any evidence to back it up.
Two days ago, their Twitter feed proclaimed “SUCCESS … A huge thank you to @CR_UK for blacklisting fake news websites from their advertising! As an organisation trying to keep us all healthy, they understand the importance of a diet of truth & tolerance for healthy public debate”. That’s Cancer Research UK they are thanking.

And to no surprise at all, hard on the heels of SFFN was Countdown numbers person Rachel Riley, telling “Thank you to the incredible team at @CR_UK for blacklisting fake news sites from your ad preferences! Heroes in even more ways now! It’s always been a pleasure supporting the work you do, total legends in fighting cancer and fighting hate now too”. Only this time, it was “ad preferences”, and not “advertising”.
So let’s see what evidence SFFN’s website has to back this one up, given what they eventually ponied up for the Man United claim did not stand up to the most cursory of examinations. Under “Successes”, where readers are told “The following brands have said they will exclude The Canary, Evolve Politics, Politalite, Westmonster and Rebel Media from their advertising”, the list does not include Cancer Research UK.

Nor, whisper it quietly, does the claim say that any of the organisations listed have STOPPED advertising on any of the targeted sites. Nor is there any news on Cancer Research UK’s site of this advertising decision. Nothing, too, in the site’s press releases. Nothing about this event mentioned by The Canary, or Evolve Politics.
But enough: you get the picture. SFFN remains totally anonymous. It keeps on making assertions about sites such as the two last-mentioned that are opinion and not fact. It keeps on confusing “Fake News” with “opinion posts which which we disagree”. It continues to have a seriously flawed Privacy Policy. And it appears to be once again making claims that it does not back up with credible evidence.
So, SFFN people, you have the evidence, you should be more than happy to show it to the world. If you’ve had a victory over Cancer Research UK’s advertising, let’s see the proof. And not the selective release - after being called out - of something from Manchester United that didn’t prove your case one way or the other.

In the meantime, advertisers, ignore Stop Funding Fake News. This is a less than totally honest campaign and should be treated accordingly. Full stop, end of story.
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