SUN SHOCKER! PAPER ADMITS TO PUBLISHING LIES AND NOT FACT-CHECKING CONTENT

sun-paper

(Photo: Simon Bleasdale)

Celebrity gossip pamphlet The Sun has admitted to publishing lies in a document leaked online.

In revelations that will shock the world of tabloid press, the paper also confessed that it doesn’t bother to fact-check information provided by third parties and will willingly re-publish any old rubbish.

The document, dated 6th June 2016 and written by one of the paper’s senior staff, boasts how information provided to the public is not ‘100% accurate’.

Regarding third party content, the document claims that it is not the paper’s responsibility to check whether the content is factual, saying that readers should do this themselves if they have concerns.

The paper arrogantly and defiantly tells those who are not happy with its approach to reporting news to ‘stop using our services’.

Actually, the above isn’t strictly true. We know the paper publishes lies, doesn’t fact-check and is arrogant in its approach but it never confessed to any of this in an online document.

Well, not in the way I’ve written. The above is based on information taken from the Terms & Conditions section on the paper’s own website (see original text below). What I’ve done is cherry-picked bits, twisted the message to suit my own agenda, isolated a couple of small quotes to make it look more legit and used a couple of inflammatory terms to try and stir up emotion (‘boasts’, ‘arrogantly and defiantly’).

sun-terms

Do these tactics sound familiar? If not, then you probably haven’t encountered an article written in The Sun recently.

Yes, I’ve decided to write a little article on The Sun using the paper’s own strategy and style of writing.

See that misleading and attention-grabbing headline that isn’t supported by the text further down in the article? Well, The Sun has been found guilty by the regulators of doing that numerous times this year. Other papers have also.

I’ve even employed the old tabloid strategy of burying all of the factual information in the second half of the article. I would say in the knowledge that many readers will digest the headline and first couple of paragraphs and won’t really bother with the rest, but I have a bit more faith in the people that read this blog.

But if you are reading and have made it this far, feel free to share among people with short attention spans who might only read the beginning bit. Let’s give The Sun a little taste of its own medicine.

If I get into trouble and IPSO wants to prosecute me, I’m more than happy to publish a tiny corrections notice in six months’ time. That’s no bother at all.

Tabloid Corrections Facebook page: here.

Advertisements

DAILY MAIL THINKS THAT BETTER USER PRIVACY RULES COULD DESTROY THE INTERNET

internet-privacy

The Daily Mail has hit out at internet privacy proposals in its latest swipe at the EU, claiming they could ‘threaten the entire internet’.

The paper writes that companies such as Google, Facebook, WhatsApp and Skype are going to suffer because of a ‘strict new privacy crackdown from the EU’.

This refers to a draft EU proposal on internet advertising that is part of an overhaul of its ‘ePrivacy’ directive.

Essentially, the main proposal is a fairly minor change that would give internet users more control over their browsing history being tracked.

The proposals would force websites and browsers to ask for users’ consent before targeting them with advertising based on their browser history. Currently, users have to actively opt out of receiving targeted ads by adjusting their settings or installing an ad blocker.

Targeted advertising on the internet is a controversial area, with research showing that it is not popular with the public who are uneasy with having their online behaviour tracked and analysed by large internet companies.

Organisations such as UK charity Privacy International campaign to make sure that legislation is in place to protect the rights of internet users and ensure that any accessing of internet history for marketing purposes is conditional on informed consent.

The EU proposals aim to improve legislation in this way. It’s not clear how this would ‘threaten the entire internet’ as the Daily Mail claims. It will just make internet advertising a little bit more difficult and would mean that huge tax-dodging firms like Google and Facebook would have to pay a fine if they didn’t abide by the new rules.

Obviously the Daily Mail cares more about minor inconveniences to big corporations and advertising firms than internet user privacy.

Tabloid Corrections Facebook page: here.

MAIL ON SUNDAY ADOPTS ‘CHINESE WHISPERS’ METHOD OF REVIEWING INTEGRATION REPORT, ENDS UP WRITING MORE RUBBISH ABOUT MUSLIMS

notting_hill_carnival_crowd_-_august_2006

(Photo by DAVID ILIFF. License CC-BY-SA 3.0)

Just days after The Sun filed a woefully misleading article about a survey on British Muslims, the Mail on Sunday has offered up its own half-baked analysis on another government report which has made The Sun‘s effort seem like an academic masterpiece in comparison.

The paper achieved this by using an innovative new reviewing method – its journalists didn’t bother reading a single word of the report in question themselves. They simply reported what they’d heard others saying about it instead.

Writing about ‘A review into opportunity and integration’ by Dame Louise Casey, the MoS claims that the ‘shock report’ reveals that ‘Isolated British Muslims are so cut off from the rest of society that they see the UK as 75 per cent Islamic’.

So keen was the paper to draw its own conclusions from the contents of the report that it couldn’t wait for its own journalists to read a copy themselves, meaning the article was written ‘according to sources who have seen the report’.

Trouble is, the sources obviously didn’t do a very good job as nowhere in the 199-page report does it say that British Muslims think that the UK is 75 per cent Islamic.

What it does say, on page 49 of the report, is that pupils of one non-faith secondary school with a high Asian population believed that Asians made up between 50-90% of the British population. This was a survey that researchers were ‘told about’ on their visit.

integration-report

So apart from writing ‘isolated British Muslims’ instead of ‘pupils in a non-faith secondary school’, and ‘Islamic’ instead of ‘Asian’, and ‘75%’ instead of ’50-90%’, and ‘UK’ instead of ‘Britain’, the headline in the Mail on Sunday is absolutely spot on.

Dame Casey’s vast review into integration is drawn from interviews with over 800 people across Britain and includes chapters on segregation, interaction, public attitudes and the media, social and economic exclusion, inequality and harm, religion, hate and extremism. Full report available here.

Tabloid Corrections Facebook page: here.

AT IT AGAIN: ANOTHER SURVEY ON MUSLIMS TWISTED BY THE SUN

lies-lies-lies-copy

The Sun has written another biased article about a survey on Muslims, less than a year after IPSO ordered it to apologise for falsely claiming that 1 in 5 Muslims sympathised with ISIS.

The paper, which seems to have a serious problem with reporting accurately and fairly on these issues, has taken a survey carried out by Policy Exchange and has cherry-picked and distorted a couple of statistics in a deliberate attempt to stir up tensions.

The 87-page report, available here, is called Unsettled Belonging. It’s the biggest survey to-date of British Muslim opinion and was carried out to help inform government policies on integration, race relations and combating radicalisation.

The report highlights how British Muslims are largely similar to the rest of the UK in their views, although there is cause for concern in some areas. The key findings of the survey were:

  • Although generally more religious and socially conservative than the UK average, British Muslims are mostly secular in their lifestyles and have similar concerns over health, unemployment and immigration as the UK public as a whole.

  • British Muslims are more likely to condemn terrorism and political violence than the UK population as a whole and the majority are in favour of stronger law and order policies such as more police on the streets.

  • 69% are in favour of secular education although 40% support gender segregated education.

  • British Muslims are highly actively engaged in British social and political life in terms of voting and making use of social and cultural amenities.

  • There is a high level of support among British Muslims for counter-extremism measures such as the Prevent programme. Nearly half (49%) feel that Muslims themselves should do more to tackle extremism.

  • There is high mistrust of mainstream media (only 34% trusting the BBC) and high levels of belief in conspiracy theories (40%). This is particularly high regarding the 9/11 attacks, with nearly four times more respondents (31%) believing that the American government were responsible than those that believe al-Qaeda were behind it (4%).

  • Although the vast majority are strongly committed to combating extremism, 26% deny that extremism exists at all.

So on the whole, far more similarities than differences. Some mistrust, belief in conspiracy and denial of extremism, but then these things are prevalent to some extent among the white British population also. As the authors state in the introductory summary, the results ‘for the most part offer comfort’.

A chance then, in these divisive times where fear of difference and racist attacks are on the increase, to reassure people that although there are problems that need addressing, we are ultimately more united by common goals and beliefs?

Not according to The Sun, who decided to run with the headline SECRET I.S. SAFE, reporting that ‘Half of British Muslims would not go to the cops if they knew someone with ISIS links’.

With a staggering intention to distort the information given in the survey, the paper is referring to a question that appears on page 61 of the report that asks interviewees ‘what they would do if they became aware someone close to them was getting involved with people who support terrorism in Syria’.

52% said that they would report it to the police. 26% said they would try and talk to the person directly to dissuade them. 20% said they would look for help from family and friends. 17% said they would get help from community leaders (it was a multiple choice question where more than one option could be picked).

Only 4% of people said they would do nothing. Yet The Sun is telling its readers that half would turn a blind eye (the paper didn’t bother reporting on those that said they would seek help through means other than going to the police).

The other parts of the survey that The Sun was most interested in reporting on? Well, obviously all the parts it could use to portray British Muslims in a negative light.

The paper writes that this ‘staggering new survey’ had found that ‘a quarter of Britain’s Muslims don’t believe extremist views exist’. It then went onto inform readers how a third of Muslims believe 9/11 was an inside job and 40% are in favour of gender segregated schools.

The paper also misleadingly suggests that two in five British Muslims support the introduction of sharia law, without clarifying that this refers only to civil law regarding financial disputes. Only 1% of those surveyed were in favour of full sharia law implemented by an Islamic government.

The more positive survey findings are buried towards the bottom of the article, obviously not as headline-worthy as the ‘Muslims are terrorist appeasers’ narrative. They’ve no doubt only been included so that the paper can attempt to offer a plea of balance in the event of another IPSO investigation.

The problem is, the paper has already been sanctioned once by IPSO for publishing pretty much the exact same lies and distortions. Yet it is blatantly willing to do the same thing again, no doubt safe in the knowledge that the worst that will happen is a small apology notice in six months’ time and maybe a small outcry in other sections of the media that will last a couple of days.

It is almost as if The Sun is laughing in the face of the regulators with an article designed to promote fear and hatred over unity and understanding. What more evidence could there be that current press sanctions in this country are just not working?

Tabloid Corrections Facebook page: here.