Jo Swinson's Been Forced To Deny She Kills Squirrels Thanks To A Twitter User Churning Out Viral Fake Election Stories
A simple text replacement tool and screenshots have been used to manufacture stories dripping with irony that generate thousands of shares online.
When Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson appeared on LBC radio on Tuesday morning, she was asked about a meme going around claiming that animal rights charities were criticising her because she apparently loved killing squirrels.
Swinson pointed out the story was "very fake news" and said she was the latest victim of a Twitter account manufacturing a negative news story and sending it viral across social media.
The posts appear be meant as satire, but as they've spread widely online, any irony appears to have been lost on many of those sharing them on Facebook.
"They’re quite sophisticated and people believe them," Swinson said. "I do think it’s worrying because it’s got echoes of what we’ve seen in other elections.
"I think there are questions for the role of publishers who are circulating this kind of thing that is untrue."