Today’s Guardian had a story headlined ‘Peers report anti-semitic posts on pro-Corbyn Facebook page to police.’ The story relates how Lord Sugar and other peers have complained to the Metropolitan Police about messages “on some pro-Corbyn Facebook pages which go well beyond what can reasonably be called free speech.” They cite a Facebook group called ‘Supporting Jeremy Corbyn & John McDonnell’ and another one called ‘Jeremy Corbyn Leads Us To Victory.’
At no point in the article do we see pro-Corbyn Facebook page in parentheses. There is no questioning of how the Facebook groups came about, their participants’ identity, whether they had any connection whatever with Corbyn or even if they were Labour Party members or had endorsement from Corbyn. I don’t do Facebook, so I’m not really sure how it works but I do know that even Mark Zuckerberg has recognised that Facebook has been used as a conduit for fake news, falsehood and mendacious behaviour in a variety of guises. Yet here we have yet another Guardian story which repeats verbatim claims made about alleged pro-Corbyn groups.
Isn’t it time – with all we now know about Facebook and indeed all other forms of anonymised nonsense that spews forth on the internet that media like the Guardian should be a little bit more questioning? This kind of stuff is equivalent to blazing headlines like ‘Corbyn and the Commie spy’ – it’s a drip feed of insinuation based on association. I have to say, I very much doubt that we’ll ever hear any results from the Metropolitan Police investigation.