A Twitter account called @navynotnuclear has appeared to spread misinformation relating to a non-existent fire onboard a nuclear submarine in Scotland, something then picked up by @MatthewDresch for the @DailyMirror before spreading to a Russian propaganda website.
It’s also somewhat noteworthy to see that both @navynotnuclear and @MatthewDresch and have now ‘protected’ their tweets, making sure strangers to the accounts can’t see them, a very strange move in my opinion.
The misinformation came from the below tweet from @navynotnuclear.
The account describes itself as follows:
It should also be noted that the original Mirror tweet and headline were as follows, despite the Mirror now editing the article to reflect the fact this is a non-story and completely routine.
— Mirror Breaking News (@MirrorBreaking_) October 12, 2020
The Mirror have now deleted the tweet, but here it is anyway.
What the image actually shows is the diesel exhaust during what is called a ‘cold move’, something completely harmless and routine. In this situation, the diesel generators provide electrical power to the onboard systems as the submarine is moved.
You may have seen some reports of a submarine on fire on the Clyde. These are inaccurate. The smoke you can see is from the submarine’s diesel engines and is entirely normal
— Ministry of Defence Press Office (@DefenceHQPress) October 12, 2020
It happens multiple times every month of every year.
The article also now states that “It led to intense speculation on Twitter”, glossing over the fact that The Mirror itself had fuelled the misinformation that a fire had broken out before altering the article a short while later.
— NavyLookout (@NavyLookout) October 12, 2020
The Daily Express also deserve a mention here, their URL hints at what the previous headline was before they realised their error, it reads “scotland-submarine-fire-helensburgh-nuclear-latest-smoke-picture-news”.
And the Express did exactly the same taking it from the Mirror and then editing it once it become clear it was nonsense.
— PlayCornwall 🇭🇰🇹🇼 (@CornwallPlay) October 12, 2020
Their article hilariously states “Despite the concern from some, the smoke was later confirmed as diesel exhaust”… remember that URL, the address their own article can be found at, highlighting the “Scotland submarine fire”…
Worse than that. The @DailyMirror has actually managed to feed the propaganda machine of a hostile state with this dangerous clickbait nonsense.
— Jensy-'feratu' 🧛🏼♂️ (@Zaphod2042) October 12, 2020
Russia Today have been frequently described as a propaganda outlet for the Russian government and media regulator, Ofcom, has repeatedly found RT to have breached rules on impartiality, and of broadcasting “materially misleading” content.
The Mirror and The Express have directly played into their hands with a poorly researched, sensationalist article repeating misinformation from Twitter.