the egregious Buzzfeed has an article today collating the huge amount of alleged fake news erupting around the alleged terror attack in Manchester.
The alleged fakery includes:
1) a story about “sixty children” being given shelter in a nearby hotel, dismissed as “fake’” by the Guardian
And described thus on BuzzFeed:
“…Many popular social media accounts posted incredibly viral tweets suggesting a group of around fifty unaccompanied children had been taken in by a Holiday Inn hotel close to the Manchester Arena following the Ariana Grande gig. Many of the tweets, apparently shared in good faith, urged concerned relatives to phone Holiday Inn directly if they could not get in touch with their child following the terrorist attack….
2) a “victim grid” including people who are very much alive and many miles from the alleged event. This grid was published in the Mail and elsewhere before being debunked.
3) fake Twitter posts of fake searches for fake victims, including this photos of an alleged “missing child” tweeted by his alleged sister…
that is – allegedly – actually a photo of a child model….
4) claims from alleged witnesses of shootings and “gunmen” at a nearby hospital which again made it into the MSM:
but were “all seemingly sourced back to one incredibly viral Facebook post claiming a man was outside the hospital with a gun.”
Buzzfeed, of course, has its own angle on the source of this fakery, ascribing it to “trolls” and the like, and the mere fact this mountain of fraud is being discussed in such places implies it will be used to further an agenda – probably the increased censorship of social media and alt news sites to combat the meanies who tell lies. We can also be sure there will be no outcry against the mainstream outlets that published the fake news, because the MSM gets a free pass on fakery.
But we don’t need to like or agree with Buzzfeed’s approach to recognise this bizarre amount of fakery raises many important questions. It further emphasises the blurring between reality and fiction that is the norm now in our collective awareness. Whoever may be behind them, the fake Twitter appeals to find fake missing people blur seamlessly with the genuine ones. None of us can really tell where one stops and the other begins. Or how much of any alleged event belongs on which side of the divide. We can all be duped. Now more than ever.