View all newsletters
Sign up for our free email newsletters

Fighting for quality news media in the digital age.

  1. News
July 4, 2024

Stop and think before you share: Reach campaigns against election misinformation

Reach online safety editor urges readers to stop spread of misinformation.

By Amy Seal

What would you do if your name was on a story you didn’t write? If you saw a screenshot of what looked like your publication, with your name next to it, but the words were not yours? If you received extensive backlash for ideas that were not your own?

Rebecca Whittington, the online safety editor at Reach, told Press Gazette this has been a reality for some journalists as she has headed a campaign this week advising readers on how to spot election misinformation.

The campaign run in the Mirror and other titles includes infographics and an informational video on how to check sources.

Whittington said: “Fake news, misinformation, and disinformation are on the rise” and added “when fake news stories are presented on social media as coming from a reputable brand, that can decrease trust in the brand itself.”

Whittington said: “With the pace of our lives… you see something, you like it, you share it, you move on. It’s very fast moving, and sometimes maybe we don’t stop and think.

Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
  • Business owner/co-owner
  • CEO
  • COO
  • CFO
  • CTO
  • Chairperson
  • Non-Exec Director
  • Other C-Suite
  • Managing Director
  • President/Partner
  • Senior Executive/SVP or Corporate VP or equivalent
  • Director or equivalent
  • Group or Senior Manager
  • Head of Department/Function
  • Manager
  • Non-manager
  • Retired
  • Other
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
Thank you

Thanks for subscribing.

“I think it’s really important that we give these simple tips to online users so they can make sure that before they share something with people that will trust them and trust their opinions, that they are checking that it is information they are happy to share and that they feel is valid.

Content from our partners
Mather Economics and InsurAds combine to help publishers boost revenue
Press Gazette publishes ultimate guide to reader conversion and monetisation
Slow online ads cost UK publishers £50m a year: Here's how to fix them

“So the idea of the campaign is it actually prompts people to stop and think before they just share something. Sometimes all of us are probably guilty of not doing that and maybe regretting it after.”

She said that the government, brands and social media platforms also have a responsibility to counter misinformation.

“If you went into a restaurant and started behaving badly, that restaurant would be well within their right to ask you to leave.

“It’s the same in online spaces – if you go in and start deliberately spreading misinformation with the intent to disrupt or cause harm, really you shouldn’t be allowed to do that”.

Whittington said examples of election misinformation she have included:

Topics in this article : ,

Email pged@pressgazette.co.uk to point out mistakes, provide story tips or send in a letter for publication on our "Letters Page" blog

Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
  • Business owner/co-owner
  • CEO
  • COO
  • CFO
  • CTO
  • Chairperson
  • Non-Exec Director
  • Other C-Suite
  • Managing Director
  • President/Partner
  • Senior Executive/SVP or Corporate VP or equivalent
  • Director or equivalent
  • Group or Senior Manager
  • Head of Department/Function
  • Manager
  • Non-manager
  • Retired
  • Other
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
Thank you

Thanks for subscribing.

Websites in our network