A Feb. 4th Guardian ‘expose’ on what they call a “coordinated far-right operation” using Facebook to profit “from disinformation and anti-Islamic hate” included screenshots from Facebook posts illustrating the problem – posts they claim represent “far-right”, hateful fake news.
Though most of the posts cited are indeed fake, and likely motivated by anti-Muslim animus, one of the posts they use in the article to make their point is in fact based on real news.
The Guardian caption read:
“Coordinated Facebook posts pushing disinformation about “celebrations” of the 9/11 terror attacks”.
However, as we demonstrated in a post on Feb. 5th, and in complaint to the Guardian readers’ editor and the two co-authors of the piece, the image from the Facebook post is a still shot from a widely circulated, authentic video from Sept. 11, 2001 that does show Palestinian celebrating the attacks.
After more than two weeks, and several follow-ups, editors finally responded to our complaint and corrected the caption, which now reads:
Coordinated Facebook posts seeking to exaggerate the scale of celebrations in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
They also added an addendum at the bottom of the article:
This revision is far from ideal, as the correct course of action would have been to delete the misleading image entirely. Nonetheless, it’s still an improvement in that it no longer claims that Palestinian celebrations of the terror attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people represents “fake news”.
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