Outrage has spread on Twitter with many sharing the news that Royal Navy frigates are to be constructed in France instead of Scotland, the problem is that the news is entirely false.
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Misinformation is easily spread, the source of this isn’t only that people seem unable to read beyond the headline, it’s that the headlines can sometimes be misleading.
Well, the infamously badly headlined @Plymouth_Live article regarding the Type 31 Frigates has resulted in thousands of tweets about how 'Scotland has been betrayed!' and 'France are building British Frigates!'. Well done folks, well done. pic.twitter.com/N13dcRR6Ph
— UK Defence Journal (@UKDefJournal) February 11, 2020
So bad was the mess caused by their headline, we had to write the following article.
“People have been sharing an article titled ‘French firm wins Royal Navy Type 31 frigates contract’ without actually reading it. The five Type 31 Frigates on order are being built at Rosyth in Scotland. The article from Plymouth Live, while having a bit of a ‘clickbaity’ headline, does go on to explain that the news relates to some components of the ship.
We covered this news in a less exciting way here, essentially, Thales as part of Babcock Team 31, has been selected to be the mission systems integrator for the Type 31 programme, delivering the combat system, communications systems and the navigation and bridge systems.”
Now, in May 2021, their article has once again gone viral leading to responses like…
— Independentista🏴🏳️🌈🏳️⚧️🇪🇺💋 (@MaySixth4) May 6, 2021
In addition to…
Just incase you think the torys care about shipbuilding industry on the Clyde 👍 https://t.co/Muq0400PyX
— flasco-wine (@Rustys1888) May 6, 2021
There are hundreds of tweets like the above and make no mistake, we’ve examined myths from both sides of the divide (including myths spread by the Conservatives) when it comes to shipbuilding in Scotland. You can read our article on that here.
The point of this article, I suppose, is to highlight that years after an article was published, years after a a response was offered detailing what’s actually happening people are still spreading misinformation.
We also published an article by Jonathan Chartier, a defence commentator working in Government and local government IT services, on the issues with the danger of politicising military shipbuilding in Scotland.