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NYT faults cats for aiding misinformation

The New York Times has identified another culprit in its war on “misinformation”, claiming that cute animals featuring in viral content help to spread right-wing propaganda and coronavirus conspiracies.
In the article, titled ‘Those Cute Cats Online? They Help Spread Misinformation,’ New York Times’s technology reporter Davey Alba claimed “videos and GIFs of cute animals — usually cats” were being used by “people and organizations peddling false information online.”

        <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Videos and GIFs of cute animals — usually cats — have gone viral for almost as long as the internet has been around. <br><br>But now this trick for building audiences is being used by people and organizations peddling misinformation, researchers say. <a href="https://t.co/xw7MqEaSz1">https://t.co/xw7MqEaSz1</a></p>&mdash; The New York Times (@nytimes) <a href="https://twitter.com/nytimes/status/1466051463206080517?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">December 1, 2021</a></blockquote> 

Alba listed the US conservative publication Western Journal and the anti-Beijing newspaper The Epoch Times as just a few examples of outlets supposedly using animal content to redirect unsuspecting viewers towards “misinformation”.

According to the article, The Epoch Times has featured cute animals in 12,062 social media posts across 103 Facebook pages, with the posts containing links towards the newspaper’s more political content.

The report received mixed reaction on social media with critics calling its claims “preposterous” and an overreaction.

        <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-cards="hidden"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Blaming cats for misinformation! Boycott the nytimes! 🙀😹 <a href="https://t.co/PQOv0nOuEN">https://t.co/PQOv0nOuEN</a></p>&mdash; bonnie (@bonnie_olivia) <a href="https://twitter.com/bonnie_olivia/status/1466119584679878657?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">December 1, 2021</a></blockquote> 

        <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-cards="hidden"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">NOW WE CAN'T EVEN HAVE CAT VIDEOS! <a href="https://t.co/i0uHETcPwV">https://t.co/i0uHETcPwV</a></p>&mdash; Erica Schultz💀💐 (@EricaSchultz42) <a href="https://twitter.com/EricaSchultz42/status/1466051837581312001?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">December 1, 2021</a></blockquote> 

“They seem to think it’s some sinister conspiracy when in reality it’s just people with broad interests who like nice things,” one person reacted, while another accused the newspaper of trying to make people “feel guilty for enjoying a cute cat pic.”
https://ift.tt/2hpq7SJ 02, 2021 at 09:57AM
from RT – Daily news

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