Did About Time fake its Twitter reviews?

Sometimes it's really important to check for typos.

A tweet from Luke Whiston is doing the rounds, accusing poor Richard Curtis (by proxy) of faking reviews:

The advert in question, which appeared on page 4 of today's Telegraph, does indeed quote two accounts which have never tweeted anything about the film. Or, in fact, anything legible at all.

But never ascribe to malice what can be explained with incompetence. The About Time team have actually been very thorough at tracking down real audiences – who saw the film at the Edinburgh Festival – and asking them permission to put their praise on posters.

(And so on) So all it takes is a quick scroll down the film's full feed to find out where the problems came. Because while @tracyann28 might not have liked the film, @traceyann28 did:

And @sambradley tweets gibberish, but @sammbradley tweets lavish praise for Richard Curtis:

See! Richard doesn't have to make up fans. He's got plenty.

I'm a mole, innit.

New Statesman
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Quiz: Can you identify fake news?

The furore around "fake" news shows no sign of abating. Can you spot what's real and what's not?

Hillary Clinton has spoken out today to warn about the fake news epidemic sweeping the world. Clinton went as far as to say that "lives are at risk" from fake news, the day after Pope Francis compared reading fake news to eating poop. (Side note: with real news like that, who needs the fake stuff?)

The sweeping distrust in fake news has caused some confusion, however, as many are unsure about how to actually tell the reals and the fakes apart. Short from seeing whether the logo will scratch off and asking the man from the market where he got it from, how can you really identify fake news? Take our test to see whether you have all the answers.



In all seriousness, many claim that identifying fake news is a simple matter of checking the source and disbelieving anything "too good to be true". Unfortunately, however, fake news outlets post real stories too, and real news outlets often slip up and publish the fakes. Use fact-checking websites like Snopes to really get to the bottom of a story, and always do a quick Google before you share anything. 

Amelia Tait is a technology and digital culture writer at the New Statesman.