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Editor slams fake news site posts which caused businesses to lose trade

Graeme Brown 1An editor has shared his frustration after fake social media posts purporting to be from a regional news website caused businesses to lose trade.

The posts, created to appear as they came from Birmingham Live, were shared about a number of food outlets and made unsubstantiated claims about Halal products.

The Reach plc-owned site has moved to clarify the posts did not originate from its journalists, with editor Graeme Brown hitting out at those responsible.

Haroon Mear, manager of Birmingham-based fast food chain Sam and Harry’s, told Birmingham Live the fake posts had caused a dip in business.

He said: “We have had people phoning the shop and it has been sent around to family members.

“It’s affected our business – fewer people are coming. We were finally getting back on our feet again, because this has happened before, and now this.”

Graeme, pictured, said: “Life is already difficult enough for businesses in our city without this.

“These posts did not come from BirminghamLive, and it frustrates me that our brand is being used like this.

“Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, we have been working to try and help businesses – including our #IAmOpen campaign, aimed at promoting those still offering a service, and #IAmBOB, which supports minority-owned businesses.”