Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

National leader won't be disciplining Collins over fake news

Gia Garrick, Political Reporter

National's leader Simon Bridges won't be disciplining one of his MPs for calling on the Prime Minister to denounce a story about child sexual abuse - even though it turned out to be fake.

Simon Bridges and
Judith Collins Photo: RNZ

Simon Bridges and Judith Collins Photo: RNZ

Judith Collins tweeted the story from a website known to be a purveyor of fake news yesterday, and was quickly called out on it.

[screenshot]

But Mr Bridges isn't going to reprimand her, saying everyone's prone to a social media controversy, including himself.

"I've liked things before, actually genuinely accidentally. I think when you're scrolling through things, you know that's created it's own little controversy."

That's what Mr Bridges is calling Ms Collins' sharing of an article off a fake news website: an accident.

The website she's shared is known for pushing Russian narrative propaganda, according to one Twitter user, and was apparently involved in Brexit and US election interference.

It's also known for conspiracy theories regarding pop stars, 'revealing' Katy Perry as a cannibal and Justin Bieber as a shapeshifter.

Another Twitter user pointed Ms Collins to an article on the same website reporting a "real life vampire outbreak" in New Zealand.

Others asked whether the Prime Minister should also be denouncing the sinister alliance of the Loch Ness Monster and Bigfoot.

But despite the faux pas, Mr Bridges does not believe guidelines around fake news are necessary and will not be enforcing them on his party caucus.

"I don't know if I would particularly set down rules or expectations about this," he said.

"I think in this case Judith Collins feels strongly about the issue, that's legitimate. But it is a wrong source, she acknowledges that, and we should in general try and get them right."

The story Ms Collins shared is based on a real news story. France is passing legislation that will make it easier to prosecute crimes of sexual violence against minors.

But the country's President Emmanuel Macron is facing criticism for stopping short of introducing an age of consent.

When asked whether she'd be denouncing anything on day one back from maternity leave, the Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was much more careful.

"There is a lot of fake news out there, and I want to make sure that I'm well-versed before I respond to anything like that."

Ms Collins didn't respond to RNZ's requests for comment on her tweet.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 


Ian Powell: Are we happy living in Handy's Age of Unreason?

On 19 June the Sunday Star Times published my column on the relationship between the Labour government’s stewardship of Aotearoa New Zealand’s health system and the outcome of the next general election expected to be around September-October 2023: Is the health system an electoral sword of Damocles for Labour... More>>


The First Attack On The Independents: Albanese Hobbles The Crossbench
It did not take long for the new Australian Labor government to flex its muscle foolishly in response to the large crossbench of independents and small party members of Parliament. Despite promising a new age of transparency and accountability after the election of May 21, one of the first notable acts of the Albanese government was to attack the very people who gave voice to that movement. Dangerously, old party rule, however slim, is again found boneheaded and wanting... More>>


Binoy Kampmark: Predictable Monstrosities: Priti Patel Approves Assange’s Extradition
The only shock about the UK Home Secretary’s decision regarding Julian Assange was that it did not come sooner. In April, Chief Magistrate Senior District Judge Paul Goldspring expressed the view that he was “duty-bound” to send the case to Priti Patel to decide on whether to extradite the WikiLeaks founder to the United States to face 18 charges, 17 grafted from the US Espionage Act of 1917... More>>


Dunne Speaks: Roe V. Wade Blindsides National

Momentum is everything in politics, but it is very fragile. There are times when unexpected actions can produce big shifts and changes in the political landscape. In 2017, for example, the Labour Party appeared headed for another hefty defeat in that year’s election until the abrupt decision of its then leader to step aside just weeks before the election. That decision changed the political landscape and set in train the events which led to Labour being anointed by New Zealand First to form a coalition government just a few weeks later... More>>

Digitl: Infrastructure Commission wants digital strategy
Earlier this month Te Waihanga, New Zealand’s infrastructure commission, tabled its first Infrastructure Strategy: Rautaki Hanganga o Aotearoa. Te Waihanga describes its document as a road map for a thriving New Zealand... More>>


Binoy Kampmark: Leaking For Roe V Wade
The US Supreme Court Chief Justice was furious. For the first time in history, the raw judicial process of one of the most powerful, and opaque arms of government, had been exposed via media – at least in preliminary form. It resembled, in no negligible way, the publication by WikiLeaks of various drafts of the Trans-Pacific Partnership... More>>