This morning, I happened upon a tweet claiming that all British Army leave had been cancelled from April the 1st, the Monday after Brexit. This is a lie.

The responses on Twitter, mostly from serving soldiers, have been exactly how you would expect.

The user had claimed to have read the news on Sky News, RT (yes, they really mentioned the bastion of impartiality that is RT) and other sources.

Later the story had changed, the users claims a “trusted person” told them the information. Why the change?

That being said, here are people correcting the user on their error. Many, by the way, are being blocked by Ella for doing so and that includes the UK Defence Journal.

What is fascinating and equally horrifying is that those pushing this misinformation are using some of the same technique we do when writing tweets, brief but concise sentences. The issue is however that these viral but ultimately incorrect tweets don’t typically have an attached article containing more information and facts.

We want our news articles – vetted, accurate, current – to go viral, so that people can influence their friends and families in discussions regarding defence topics but we always make sure that the headlines written on Twitter are accurate, something Ella has apparently not done.

Events like these are why we spend so much time correcting myths, but we often find that those myths have already made it halfway around the world while our responses have barely made it out the door.

Falsehood consistently dominates the truth on Twitter, according to a study published this year by MIT in the journal Science. ‘Fake news’ and false rumours reach more people, penetrate deeper into the social network and spread much faster than accurate stories.

“False news reached more people than the truth; the top 1% of false news cascades diffused to between 1000 and 100,000 people, whereas the truth rarely diffused to more than 1000 people. Falsehood also diffused faster than the truth. The degree of novelty and the emotional reactions of recipients may be responsible for the differences observed.”

In many cases and simply put, false stories are typically way more interesting than anything the truth has to offer hence why they spread so rapidly.

So what can we do? Refute bad information and keep on refuting it as that’s really all we can do. Is it a losing battle? Time will tell.

64 COMMENTS

  1. Either a Remainer whackadoodle or the other sort, the type that inhabits places like this, a Russophobe………..

    ……probably the former.

    • If she is a Russophobe why would she use RT as evidence for her argument, seems rather contradictory… or is it some sort of double bluff game she is playing. It’s Twitter half its users use it to boast they know something others don’t makes them feel important especially when they are fantasists or conspiracy theorists or just plain sad and ill informed.

  2. UK forces can only be deployed against UK civilians if martial Law has been declared. If it hasn’t just ignore any directions from them – they have no power to arrest .

  3. It’s called PROJECT FEAR.

    We are all doomed. Especially Sandwiches and air flights, even though there are international treatis for that if those infants up top could be bothered to sort it out.

  4. Jesus Christ what is this whackjob implying – that the Tories are planning a military dictatorship but are waiting until April to act on it? I mean I’m no fan of the Tories but obviously that is patently ridiculous and you’d have to have a lobotomy to believe it

    The amount of craziness in this Brexit feud knows no bounds

    • I saw some of the most awful reporting on Channel 4 about this recently. Someone from HMG being interviewed about it after Gavin Williamson’s statement to the house that 3,500 troops were being “put at readiness” where he then immediately went on to emphasise that no government department has actually made any request for any army resources to be made available in pretty much the next breath.

      Every time the government spokesman said that there were no current plans to deploy the army the interviewer kept interrupting him gleefully, thinking she had some sort of silver bullet with GW’s announcement, saying essentially “but it’s here in black & white, GW said to the house today …”. It happened about 3 times. Really nauseating to watch. An almost certainly very highly paid TV “journalist”/presenter who is seemingly simply too dumb to understand that being put at readiness isn’t the same as actually being deployed, or even a definite intention to deploy. It’s a bit like saying that the UK is in a hot war with Russia right now simply because RFA QRA exists.

      • Oops. “RFA” = “RAF” – although obviously a Bay Class would be more than a match for any Russian aircraft straying into UK airspace but sensibly we do tend to leave it to the Typhoons.

  5. I’d wager that it’s not a she and is, in fact, an ‘it’.

    The frequency of tweets and retweets – 70k in under two years/~800 each day – suggests this at the very least an account used by multiple ScotIndy people.

  6. There is always the possibility that she didn’t understand the distinctions in the terms used, leading to her making an assumption which she was then too pig-headed to row back from. I suspect however, that the original text that she was following was written in a basement in Moscow.

  7. Hi folks hope all are well
    Yes usual misinformation triggered by media types. The newspaper review last night on BBC News had sample of one tabloid mentioning that 3,500 troops on standby for no deal Brexit. Which of course is completely opposite spectrum to the person that started this rubbish. Simply ask serving personnel and families. 1 April comes to mind!!
    Cheers
    George

    • Hi Steve, it’s because we are not going to leave the EU on March 29th, after an overwhelming defeat of the policy in a second referendum, that troops are being put on alert. Apparently a few of the contributors to these pages are going to mount a ‘coup d’état’.

  8. It’s RT people. Read somewhere else that they’ve been censured 7 times for there coverage of the attempted murder of the Skripal’s and the murder of Dawn Sturgess. One of the presenters on one of the shows was drumroll ……. Mr George Galloway ! Says it all really.

    • The only way to refute the bullsh*t that is posted is to make a legitimate article pointing out the wrong information posted and give the correct info.

  9. RT= Putin not
    Ignore the hysteria
    Fake news folks, fake news
    Reality is we are moving to the expected and fully anticipated no deal BREXIT. Nothing to fear there. The UK did actually exist and function as a country before we joined the EU.
    The 3000 troops on standby will be part of an escalating step-wise governmental state-wide response to any problems no-deal BREXIT does bring up.
    The government are already inept in that they cannot negotiate a free trade deal to save their lives. Fact is within 6 months of a no deal BREXIT and a balance of trade whereby the EU runs a £100 billion a year trade surplus with the UK + they will not be getting their grubby hands on the £39 billion divorce payment means they will come back and offer a better deal. May just has to run down the clock hold her nerve and the EU will offer a better deal, that can be passed by parliament (even the SNP twats might actually like the deal). Failing that as stated within 6 months of leaving the EU will approach us asking for a free trade deal and can we all be friends again?
    That will be after we have secured free trade deals with Canada, USA, India, China, Australia and the temporary hit on our economy related to no deal is a thing of the past. Just need to push on and we will be fine.
    People need to have more faith in this country and its people.

      • Which bit Is fantasy?

        Someone on the news other week said us Brexiteers wanted an “Imagined Past”

        I must be imagining then that there are other major economies out there not in a political union, and that the UK even existed before 1973.

        • You do want an imagined past, and those other economies have not been tied to the EU for 60 years making it a mess to leave.
          Typical Leaver fantasy about the EU coming back for a deal, you all claimed the EU needed us more than we needed it, now the leavers are trying to spin a no deal is best after they showed us we dont have the upper hand and then the nonsense about all the trade deals, you lot live in a fantasy world claiming anything negative siad about Brexit is project fear, why dont you go back to sticking your head in the sand.

  10. The woman is and always has been a notorious Corbynisa who spreads falsehoods across twitter. Onc she even claimed that it was RAF planes that were dropping barrel bombs on the Syrians and not Assad.

    • Hi Steve, it does seem a little odd that British Security cannot handle a toy drone. What the f%%k are they going to do when a real threat occurs. My brother reckons that a few of his mates with shotguns at the perimeter are all that is needed. Limited range device…no threat to the public!

      • I think it is not embarrassment at the moment because nobody, as far as one is aware, in the MSM has said, “Um, where is our anti-drone equipment?” Somebody is bound to google, anti-drone equipment sooner rather than later. Also apparently it isn’t a toy one either but a large-ish one with 6 rotors. I thought the UK were world leaders in EW……….seems not……….

          • Yes and being tested in the US in an airport environment it seems. Probably just a proposal left in a pile marked unimportant on some civil servants desk over here rejected as being far too expensive to consider for such an unlikely occurrence beyond needing a plod in a panda to deal with. Maybe if this event costs the billion many experts are predicting they might just reconsider now that the first horse has already bolted with plenty more considering playing follow the leader.

        • Just to add to this. The MoD purchased 6 anti drone units from Raytheon in August I believe. No idea if they’re cleared for use though.

          A drone is a completely different kettle of fish to a Russian Air incursion as I’ve had to point out on twitter a lot over the past 24 hours. Whilst we do have pretty good capability in some areas, this doesn’t necessarily extend to all areas. To borrow a phrase, it’s not a problem until it is.

          • It is quite telling how some people don’t have the faintest idea of our capabilities and limitations.

            Had to explain to a guardian reader several times yesterday how sitting a type 45 off the South coast and firing a £2.5m, mach 4.5 aster 30 across southern England might not be the best move… But no in his mind it just demonstrated that the type 45s are a colossal waste of money and the words “why do we have a navy anyway” were used.

          • Chris J.

            It’s quite scary how consistently the phenomena rears its head. It’s a stereotype but seems to be true.

          • Steve M no worries mate.

            J Snow of channel 4?

            That channel of PC and self loathing for anything that’s not Corbyn, the Guardian, and who think Snowden is a hero.

            Right!

      • Effective range of a shotgun is 40 to 50 feet. Unlikely a few mates could man a perimeter of Gatwick airport and do anything to a drone at 100ft other than cause a lead downpour on their own heads.

        “I shot an arrow in the air – it fell to earth, f**k knows where”

    • Steve.

      Yes why not just shoot it down?

      Embarrassing.

      Royal Signals, GCHQ could jam signals in Northern Ireland or cause devices to detonate on their makers, yet we cannot deal with this?

      • Ok, having asked that question I’ve now educated myself and had a look at an article on The Register.

        It’s not that simple sadly, mainly due to elf and safety, even using a shotgun.

        Amazing.

        • It is all a bit odd isn’t? 🙂

          Normally for shotgun you are looking at a ‘safety zone’ of about 375m to 400m, You would have thought Gatwick would have plenty of space for that.

          Yes EW is tricky too. But……..

          • Their point is even if hit by a shotgun it might not guarantee the craft falls straight away. It may stay airborne and damaged and then crash through someone’s windscreen on the m23.

            They’d need to evacuate a wide area first.

          • Obviously it would not have been an option for safety reasons but oh how I would have loved to see it get shredded by a Phalanx.

  11. Pretty much all of it really.

    Yes there are other major economies out there, those like Australia for example has large amounts of natural resources that it sells to mainly South East Asia where it is used to produce goods in vast factories that use mass low paid labour. If you are talking about the UK well our economy is largely services led and will be decimated on leaving the Single Market.

    I have never entirely understood the whole “UK existed before 1973” thing. The UK did did indeed exist and was begging to join the EEC.

    My guess if it is hard Brexit the UK will last between 3 to 6 weeks before having to accept the Deal then Backstop and all with a referendum to enact Article 49 to rejoin in less than two years.

  12. I think they have been attempting to track the drone back to who’s in control rather than bringing it down, it’s a serious piece of kit by the sounds of it and must be fairly well organised operation to keep the drones going all night and day, I live right next to Gatwick and at least 2 choppers have been out non stop and some one said an RAF plane is on the way

    • I’ve read they keep trying to DF the operator but they are wise to that and keep going silent.

      Fascinating stuff. A protest of some sort?

      • Most likely. Gatwick recently announced they are to use their back up runway as standard going forward to increase the number of flights in can handle. Someone out there didn’t like it much!

  13. May be my last post before leaving in my Ford sled for points north so…….
    …….A very marry Christmas to all organisers and posters on UKDJ.

    • The article stated delivery date was not confirmed, maybe we don’t have them yet. Either way I’m pretty sure Gatwick has been seen as a proof of concept by a lot of terrorist / protest groups, and it won’t be the last time we see issues like this.

  14. Gitwack latest. Police have released the two suspects that were detained on Friday. Sergei and Irina Smirnoff said that they were very distressed at the accusations; ‘they had only come to admire the beautiful city of Gatwick and the ancient cathedral with its 100 metre spire’. Police say they have recovered a drone that was found in a wheelie bin outside a pharmacy!

    • Lol. A drone with some titanium bars attached or a couple grenades or a coupl drones one for each engine of a taking of plane would cause it to crash easily! I’m surprised terrorists haven’t done that yet, or even in USA with a cheap sniper rifle taking down a jet. Terrorists aren’t the cleverest bunch of cunts are they. Pardon my french.

      • I suspect you under estimate them there.

        Firstly there isn’t exactly dozens of terrorist groups walking around the western world, no matter how much the TV would make you think so. At any one time i suspect there is probably only a couple and keeping things quiet, when the ring leaders won’t want to get their hands dirty (seems to be the case, the leaders recruit others to do their work, since they value their own lives), is not easy thing, aka our police/intel services are pretty decent.

        The police have done a good job of killing most active terrorist groups, making sure they know that if they are going to go through with it, it means death and it takes a certain extreme person to want to do that and we don’t live in extreme poverty (iran/syria/afgan) where those people are common. Even the poorer immigrants into this country are living much better lives, ok should be living better still but it gives them something to lose.

        A sniper rifle alone is not going to take down a passenger plane unless they got really lucky and hit one of the engines, most of the time they would just hit the hull and probably no one inside and they would be arrested without any real net terror caused.

        Trying to shoot at a fast moving target with any level of accuracy it not exactly an easy task. Same with the grenade idea, its one thing putting one on a drone and getting it close to a stationary plane, its another hitting a moving plane and again a single grenade would do some damage to a stationary plane but wouldn’t do enough to be worthwhile (terrorists are after mass murder not a couple of people).

        Thankfully our security services/police are experienced in tracking terror groups and the vast vast majority of people in the country, including the immigrants from high risk countries, are law abiding residents who enjoy our country and would tip off the police if they saw something of concern.

        I don’t mean to under to under value the threat, as i do think sooner or later it will happen, but equally i don’t think its as easy as it looks at first thought. Thankfully!

        • p.s. if you look at terror groups like the IRA and you will see they were far far from dumb or if you look at how ISIS managed to take over half of Syra/Iraq so quickly and you will again see they are not so dumb, also they managed to control Afgan for years including getting US money into the country. They are far far from stupid.

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