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  1. ITV Report

Lib Dem leader warns against 'fake news' after false squirrel story goes viral

  • By ITV News Correspondent Rupert Evelyn

Jo Swinson kills squirrels, she eats Puffins on Christmas day and is widely believed to disguise meat as fruit when serving it to her vegan friends.

I could go on but you wouldn’t or shouldn’t believe it although you might just wonder if there was a scintilla of truth in it.

There isn’t……they are false stories (Puffins and Vegans made up by me) but the squirrel yarn has gained traction forcing the Lib Dem leader into denying killing rodents.

The story which Swinson describes as being “very fake” is an example of a misinformation going viral.

A fake image showing Jo Swinson next to a dead squirrel.

Doctored images claiming to show an article on the Mirror’s website are picked-up and shared finding their way onto social media feeds and into our consciousness.

At that point the seed has been sown and the joke/hoax grows.

On a day when the leader wants to be talking about her policies on the NHS the public are thinking about dead squirrels.

The fake Mirror story was shared thousands of times online.

When asked about the fake Mirror story and misinformation, Swinson told ITV News: "Not news, not true. You know, just total b******* frankly."