Russian, Trump, Media and Facebook Referendum interference and some of the lies that swayed the vote
Posted by Geoff Bishop.
A round up of all the interference experienced in the EU Referendum
and just some of the lies told by the Leave campaign.
Information taken from various sources, including my article on Twenty Brexit lies that explains in detail the twenty lies. (There were a lot more lies, and Part two of my Brexit Lies article is yet to be written) The link to the Lies article is at the end of this article.
Soon after the EU Referendum, The Press Gazette, the magazine for journalists, published the findings of a Reuters columnist’s analysis of the UK’s front pages during the 28 days leading up to voting day.
The columnist, Hugo Dixon, claimed that a series of “significantly misleading” articles gave front-page prominence to anti-EU stories, mainly on migration. He said: “I think these helped give a misleading impression to the British public when they voted.”
The Press Gazette itself found that The Sun, The Daily Mail, Express and Telegraph all ran heavily bias pro-Leave stories on their front pages throughout the campaign period.
It said that during this period around 90m newspapers were printed with pro-Leave front pages versus around 30m with pro Remain fronts.”
A report published by British communications agency 89up.org has concluded that there was significant pro-Brexit Russian influence during the EU referendum campaign.
British Prime Minister Theresa May told Russia that she’s aware they are “weaponising information” but she stopped short of directly accusing the Russian government of targeting the referendum.
But 89up.org’s founder Mike Harris was clear about the role of Russian state media in attempting to influence public opinion.
“What our research shows is that it was the Kremlin state media, Russia Today and Sputnik who pumped out a series of, we found 261 highly leading articles which were all about the refugee crisis or how great the trade deals would be that the UK would get after Brexit,” he said.
“There was a series of very established social media pushes that meant that these articles had more reach on twitter than the two official leave campaigns had combined.”
89up.org also says Facebook needs to be much more transparent on who spent what on advertising during the 2016 referendum campaign.
“During the period of the UK referendum we need to know who did Facebook take advertising from and they need to make a proper audit to see if any Russian state actors were promoting content that would lead British voters to either conclusion, to remain in the EU or to leave the EU,” Harris said.
Russia has always denied interfering in the referendum campaign and it says it’s been made a scapegoat.
DONALD TRUMP INTERFERENCE
The UK would be “better off without” the European Union, the then US presidential hopeful Donald Trump said before the Referendum..
He told Fox News the migration crisis had been a “horrible thing for Europe” and blamed the EU for driving it.
Trump said he was not making a “recommendation” but his “feeling” was that the UK should vote to sever ties with the EU in the referendum.
Democrat President Barack Obama expressed support for the UK remaining in the EU.
Trump said “I know Great Britain very well, I know the country very well, I have a lot of investments there.”
He added: “I want them to make their own decision.”
Obama said Britain would go to the “back of the queue” for trade deals with the US if it votes to leave the European Union, sparking anger among Leave campaigners in the UK.
He said Britain was at its best when “helping to lead” a strong EU and membership made it a “bigger player” on the world stage.
VOTING BREAKDOWN ACROSS THE UK
England voted for Brexit, by 53.4% to 46.6%. Wales also voted for Brexit, with Leave getting 52.5% of the vote and Remain 47.5%. Scotland and Northern Ireland both backed staying in the EU. Scotland backed Remain by 62% to 38%, while 55.8% in Northern Ireland voted Remain and 44.2% Leave. See the results in more detail.
LIES TOLD BY THE LEAVE CAMPAIGN
Lie number one: £350 MILLIONS for the NHS
Lie number two: Brexit will be good for the economy.
Lie number three: We will have the same benefits outside the EU.
Lie number four: The EU need us more than we need them.
Lie number five: Immigrants are taking our jobs and lowering our wages.
Lie number six: Low skilled immigrants are taking jobs from British workers
Lie number seven: We have a mandate to leave the single market.
Lie number eight: We will trade under WTO rules. Easy!
Lie number nine: Immigration is out of control.
Lie number ten: We want to gain control from the EU.
Lie number eleven: Immigration is bad for the economy.
Lie number twelve: The EU is corrupt.
Lie number thirteen: We will keep access to the EU and we will stop EU immigration.
Lie number fourteen: Student visas are used to come and stay illegally.
Lie number fifteen: Immigrants come here to sponge benefits!
Lie number Sixteen: Free Trade with EU post-Brexit
lie number Seventeen: We will stop giving money to the EU
Lie number Eighteen: The EU is bossing us around.
Lie number nineteen: We are selling coffee to Brazil.
Lie number Twenty: We do not have a veto over Turkey joining the EU