Man behind one of the biggest sites accused of 'fake news' is former BBC worker
The man responsible for one of the biggest fake news sites in the US is a former BBC worker whose mother is one of its main contributors, according to reports in the Times.
Sean Adl-Tabatabai is behind the YourNewsWire.com platform, the source of numerous fake news stories including claims that the Queen had threatened to abdicate if the UK did not vote in favour of Brexit as well as reports that Hillary Clinton was connected to a paedophile ring in Washington.
The site has been blacklisted by a number of fact-checking bodies, including the European Union’s East StratCom Task Force, a Brussels unit that debunks Russian propaganda.
A former US intelligence officer and Kremlin propaganda expert, Joel Harding, claimed that the site has been “used by the Russians as a proxy site to spread disinformation".
Adl-Tabatabai, a former television producer for the BBC and MTV, argues that the site is a legitimate news organisation and rubbished any links with Russia as “completely baseless”.
He even went so far as to accuse the Times of publishing fake news about him.
Murdoch's @thesundaytimes publish fake news about me. Cheers for traffic @JoshTBoswell. https://t.co/9O02jsx9M7
— Sean Adl-Tabatabai (@seanshhh) January 29, 2017
One of the main contributors to the site is his mother, Carol, a holistic medicine expert. She said that although some of her articles are “a bit weird” and “maybe a little satirical”, she is “giving people food for thought”.
Google has since banned the site from its advertising platform and comes as the Commons culture, media and sport committee prepares to launch an inquiry into fake news.