You may have seen the glossy adverts for Bitcoin Trader – the “new way to make guaranteed money really quickly”.
“Cash in on the Bitcoin miracle”.
Or you may have seen the news items on the Internet about how various celebrities are throwing in their lot with Bitcoin Trader.
These are fake news items – invented entirely to con people into believing in this new scam, but they look like genuine news items and often carry the logos of respectable newspapers and online news agencies.
One shows Gordon Ramsay saying he’s sold half of his restaurant empire so he can invest £100 million in Bitcoin Trader.
Another shows Elon Musk giving up car making as Bitcoin Trader is more profitable.
A very angry Martin Lewis – the consumer champion, has tried repeatedly to get the fake news items of him endorsing Bitcoin Trader removed but to no avail.
Then there’s one of Richard Branson buying into Bitcoin Trader in a huge way.
These celebrities do what they can to stop the criminals using their names to con people but it’s is difficult as criminals ignore lawyers and lawsuits even if you can identify who they are.
The other unusual thing used by scammers to con people into buying Bitcoin Trader is the claim that its intention is to spread wealth so that the top 0.1% don’t own half of the planet’s resources any longer. The reality is just that the scammers want as much for themselves as they can get and don’t care who loses out.
Ignore such fake news items and ignore anything claiming that Bitcoin Trader made them rich – only for scammers.
If you have any experiences with scammers, spammers or time-waster do let me know, by email.
There is a major problem across the world with ‘fake news’, especially on the Internet.
The Poynter Institute is a global leader in journalism, claiming to be the world’s leading instructor, innovator, convener and resource for anyone who aspires to engage and inform citizens in 21st Century democracies.
Poynter created The International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) at Poynter, committed to promoting excellence in fact-checking.
They say that they believe nonpartisan and transparent fact-checking can be a powerful instrument of accountability journalism; conversely, unsourced or biased fact-checking can increase distrust in the media and experts while polluting public understanding.
The Poynter Institute have also created a set of principles for organisations that publish and claim to be non partisan.
- A COMMITMENT TO NONPARTISANSHIP AND FAIRNESS We fact-check claims using the same standard for every fact check. We follow the same process for every fact check and let the evidence dictate our conclusions. We do not advocate or take policy positions on the issues we fact-check.
- A COMMITMENT TO TRANSPARENCY OF SOURCES We want our readers to be able to verify our findings themselves. We provide all sources in enough detail that readers can replicate our work, except in cases where a source’s personal security could be compromised. In such cases, we provide as much detail as possible.
- A COMMITMENT TO TRANSPARENCY OF FUNDING & ORGANIZATION We are transparent about our funding sources. If we accept funding from other organizations, we ensure that funders have no influence over the conclusions we reach in our reports. We detail the professional background of all key figures in our organization and explain our organizational structure and legal status. We clearly indicate a way for readers to communicate with us.
- A COMMITMENT TO TRANSPARENCY OF METHODOLOGY We explain the methodology we use to select, research, write, edit, publish and correct our fact checks. We encourage readers to send us claims to fact-check and are transparent on why and how we fact-check.
- A COMMITMENT TO OPEN AND HONEST CORRECTIONS We publish our corrections policy and follow it scrupulously. We correct clearly and transparently in line with our corrections policy, seeking so far as possible to ensure that readers see the corrected version.
The International Fact-Checking Network:
- Monitors trends, formats and policy-making about fact-checking worldwide, publishing regular articles in the section below and in a weekly newsletter
- Helps surface common positions among the world’s fact-checkers.
- Promotes basic standards through the fact-checkers’ code of principles and projects to track the impact of fact-checking.
- Funds annual fellowships, an innovation grant and a crowdfunding match program.
- Convenes fact-checkers in a yearly conference (Global Fact) and promotes collaborative efforts in international fact-checking.
- Provides training in person and online.
- Advocates for more fact-checking, including through an annual International Fact-Checking Day.
I think we’re a long way from ever getting rid of fake news but at least this fact checking network should help organisations discern real facts from, fake facts.
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