FactcheckUK: Tories criticised over Twitter rebranding during election debate


@CCHQPress account

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Twitter

The Conservative Party has been sharply criticised by a UK fact-checking agency after it rebranded one of its Twitter accounts.

The @CCHQPress account – the Tory press office – was rebranded as “factcheckUK” on Tuesday.

The change happened during a live TV debate involving PM Boris Johnson and Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Twitter is yet to comment on the change, but told the BBC it was looking into it.

Fact-checking agency FullFact said in a statement: “It is inappropriate and misleading for the Conservative press office to rename their twitter account ‘factcheckUK’ during this debate.

“Please do not mistake it for an independent fact checking service such as FullFact, FactCheck or FactCheckNI.”

The Labour Party tweeted: “The @Conservatives’ laughable attempt to dupe those watching the #ITVDebate by renaming their twitter account shows you can’t trust a word they say.”

Twitter has policies regarding deceptive behaviour on the platform. The company said it can remove an account’s “verified” status if the account owner is said to be “intentionally misleading people on Twitter by changing one’s display name or bio”.

Other users on the platform subsequently changed their display names to mock the move. Among them, writer Charlie Brooker, who tweeted: “We have always been at war with Eastasia”, a reference to George Orwell’s dystopian novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four.



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