Hacked Off have today published a report into the dissemination of false newspaper stories by extremists online.
The report finds:
- False stories published by both tabloid and broadsheet newspapers are being widely shared and disseminated among neo-Nazis and white supremacists online, before any action is taken by the industry-controlled complaints-handler IPSO;
- In sharing the stories, racist and hateful comments were often added;
- In one example, an explicit call to violence was included;
- The stories were typically used by extremists to illustrate the “rightfulness” of their racist worldviews;
- Extremist forums and communities online, where these stories are shared as propaganda for users’ white supremacist beliefs, are similar to those used by terrorists including those responsible for the Christchurch New Zealand, Norwegian, and Charleston terror attacks;
- All newspapers covered in the report are members of IPSO, the industry-controlled press complaints-handler criticised for failing to uphold basic standards of accuracy
Nathan Sparkes, Hacked Off Director of Policy, said:
“Muslims have endured waves of false, inaccurate and abusive coverage from national newspapers in the UK over the last decade, while the industry’s press-controlled complaints handler “IPSO” stands idly by and fails to sanction or remedy these repeated inaccuracies appropriately.
“This report provides an insight into the growing damage IPSO’s inaction and inadequacies are causing: the circulation, dissemination and amplification of stories attacking Muslims in the national press, which were later found to be substantively false, among neo-Nazis and white supremacists.
“This report highlights how the absence of media regulation in the UK is not only a source of deep and profound injustice for individuals affected by newspaper abuse, but also feeds extremism and has implications for national security.”
The full report can be read here: