Fact Check

Somebody with a Twitter account has found a piece of information which is basically true. It may be the occupation of a relative of somebody who holds or seeks a position in public office. It may be gossip about a long-finished affair. It could be a misunderstood or misreported position on policy. What it actually is, doesn't really matter. It doesn't even really matter if it's true at all.

Without checking the detail or carrying out any background research they have spread this information as evidence of a position they already hold towards said office-seeker. The most common method is to include a leading statement and a link in a tweet - like the kind of statement that led you to this page.

It is highly likely that the majority of people who clicked on that link already hold the same opinion as that of the original tweeter. As long as the first paragraph reinforces that view they will probably read no further and leave the page accepting a complete red herring as further and conclusive proof that they were right. This is called confirmation bias and it is the true approach of most of us towards the news, party propaganda or indeed any attempt to set the record straight.

That's okay; it's time consuming and difficult and contrary to our instincts to consciously seek out evidence that challenges our preconceptions. Just don't fool yourselves that the statement which led you here was true. It wasn't. Whichever of the several links I, or anybody else, posted - and for balance I posted allegations about a range of different political parties and movements - it was simply a lie.

Welcome to politics.

Now, invent your own outrageous lie or misused truth and link to this page. It won't change anything at all but it might be a bit of fun.

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