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Swedish paper falls for Thatcher death hoax

Swedish paper falls for Thatcher death hoax

Published: 15 Aug 2012 10:54 GMT+02:00
Updated: 15 Aug 2012 10:54 GMT+02:00

A Swedish news editor is blaming "bad fact-checking" after his paper announced on Tuesday that British ex Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher had died - a story that began as a hoax on Twitter.

The Skövde Nyheter newspaper printed the story on Tuesday night after having seen what they thought was a legitimate tweet from Sky News.

“The article was only up for a short time, perhaps an hour at the most, but by then the damage was done,” explained the editor of the newspaper, Ronny Karlsson, to The Local.

The article, which erroneously announced that "Margret" Thatcher had died, was based on a tweet from Twitter account @OfficialSkyNews, which read:

“Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher has passed away at the age of 86 after a prolonged illness. More details soon.”

This account, which boasted over 33,000 followers, has now been deleted after having been outed as a fake with no affiliation with Sky News.

With Swedish media now writing about the kerfuffle, Karlsson has blamed bad fact-checking for the article's publication.

“We simply didn’t check properly if it was true. Everything moves so fast these days. But no matter how fast things get or how many news channels there are, this shouldn’t have happened,” he said.

Since, the paper has published an apology about the mix-up on their site, however the editor is quick to point out that this was a one-off occurrence.

“This was just someone making a mistake. We can only apologize to our readers – this is something that has happened for the first and the last time,” Karlsson told The Local.

Oliver Gee

Follow Oliver on Twitter here

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

12:13 August 15, 2012 by EmployedProfessional
The fact of the matter is;

1-Legacy media no longer has the resourses to check sources let alone properly write and fact-check their own stories.

2- Traditional newspapers are shutting down in droves worldwide and as an option are doing on line aditions with "pay walls".Really great for the older generation without computers!

3-Twitter and the others are the new "news",take it or leave it,pick your poision.

Evolution,transformation and plain old economics-101(or 2.0 for the kids!)

Discuss...
13:40 August 15, 2012 by John.Smith
There is no killing the Hatchet Thatcher. The Iron Lady will outlive us all.
17:41 August 15, 2012 by Spuds MacKenzie
I assumed Maggie Thatcher died about 20 years ago!
19:18 August 15, 2012 by OUIJA
I am not surprised at all. Swedish media is a classical example of the copy and paste technique.

Swedish #journalists#, especially the female ones,write articles without checking facts and then, when someone like me complains, they do not update the story or simply ignore the complains. One exception of the rule is Mrs. Lena Mellin from Aftonbladet.
20:25 August 15, 2012 by Paddy
Champagne back on ice.
08:27 August 16, 2012 by Rishonim
The old crow could use some sun on that skin
09:53 August 17, 2012 by Garry Jones
Why didn't they just check the Is Thatcher Dead Yet website?

http://www.isthatcherdeadyet.co.uk/
11:29 August 21, 2012 by Prestonrobsun
She did more damage to Britian than WW2 did.

"Britan doesn't need Manufacturing. All its wealth can be generated in the City of London". M Thatcher.

Right............Now see where we are, Maggie.

There will be many in Britain who will celebrate her passing. Utinam que.
13:12 August 21, 2012 by Amber Tiger
Maggie Thatcher was the best peacetime PM the UK had in the 20th century, she did what had to be done. She took the UK out of the dark ages, not to mention standing up to Argentina over the Falkland Islands, had a leftie been in charge they would've just handed over the islands without regard to the people living there. Labour causes problems and rack up huge debts and it's left to the Tories to clean the mess up.
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