UK Conservative party aka Tories, warned by Electoral Commission over false information
The Conservatives have been warned by the Electoral Commission that they must show “transparency and integrity” after rebranding their press office’s official Twitter account to give the appearance of a neutral fact-checking organisation.
The UK Government’s ruling party changed its name logo and all branding on it’s verified twitter account to impersonate a real, independent fact checking NGO. By changing the name they were able to retain the blue verified badge on their social media account giving the impression of being a real NGO.
They then proceeded to tweet a long list of fake facts, false information and personal accusations and attacks including fake and doctored videos of political rivals.
Twitter has treated to permanently ban the UK Government from the platform if any similar offences are repeated.
China and several other countries accuse the UK of interfering with elections and inciting civil unrest via social media and fake news.
British Embassy staff in China were arrested this year on charges of inciting riots and propagating false information.
The UK is accused of similar tactics during the Arab Spring where social media played the major part in spreading propaganda that lead to the deaths of tens of thousands of civilians and the collapse of several governments.
Bona fide fact-checking organisations condemned the move as “inappropriate” while a top EU politicians said it amounted to “dystopian” disinformation of the kind seen in authoritarian states.
A source form the International Criminal Court said that the move was in line with behaviour of “an authoritarian dictatorship”.
“Dystopian. Not even (Hungarian far-right prime minister Viktor) Orban or the Polish PiS (ruling party) would dream this up, let alone do it,” said Guy Verhofstadt, the European parliament’s Brexit coordinator.
In response a number of accounts changed their username and image to match the Conservative party offering while sharing outlandish false claims.
Charlie Brooker, the writer behind dystopian TV series Black Mirror, implied the move by the party was Orwellian by tweeting: “We have always been at war with Eastasia” in reference to the book 1984.
The revelations of the UK’s involvement in regime change and targeting of individual opposition figures and critics has lead to many corporations and governments to debate the future of social media. Many nations including several EU states have suggested regulation and legislation to govern social media, whilst others including many large corporations have debated an out right ban. India, is currently trying to find a solution to it’s problem with Facebook’s WhatsApp which is behind a series of brutal murders and riots following the spread of false accusations and false information.
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