An editorial chief has hit out at “imbeciles” who used a regional news website’s branding to circulate a fake news story about coronavirus.
Kent Online has acted to warn readers about the fake story, which is being shared on Facebook and has been made to resemble a screenshot taken from the site.
The spoof story claims two Albanian nationals have tested positive for COVID-19 after recently visiting a Costa Coffee outlet in Gravesend.
Kent Online owner Iliffe Media has contacted Facebook over the faked screenshot, pictured, which has been shared multiple times on the social media site.
Speaking to HTFP, Ian added: “We’ve had an issue for months with somebody creating spoof Photoshopped Kent Online articles posted on Facebook, which we haven’t dignified with any public comment.
“We felt on this occasion we had to address it given the nature of the story. We have contacted Facebook as a matter of urgency.
“We are also reminding people that our website and associated, official social media channels are the only place you get trusted news from the KM – anywhere else and it could be fake.”
The fake story was flagged up by a concerned reader, and Kent Online has published a piece clarifying the story is untrue.
In a message to readers, Ian said: “To steer clear of fake news please check and read the news from our verified Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts and Kent Online.”