Following the news that The Times named Nigel Farage its man of the year 2014 for his impact on the news a myth went round on social media that 80 years earlier The Times had picked Oswald Mosley.
Not only did The Times not do this (they didn’t do such namings back then and a search of their archive for all mentions of Mosley in 1934 finds no story even remotely similar) nor was Mosley the Time magazine selection for that year which could perhaps have been a cause of confusion.
It basically looks a claim as untrue as can be. So where did it come from?
When I first wrote this post, it looked like coming from Jon Swindon, who had also not responded to two questions from me (and others from others, such as this) about where he got the story from:
However, after the earlier version of this post appeared he did respond:
The now likely originator of the fake seems quite unapologetic about having made it up and not correcting things since:
Overall, it feels like Twitter is rather like Wikipedia as of a few years ago. Often a source of useful information but its information has to be treated with care before being trusted. Wikipedia’s public history of edits and discussions provides a very useful (if underused) way to flush out some dubious claims but with Twitter there’s much more reliance on trusting who has retweeted something, which given it just takes one quick click or tap doesn’t necessarily make for very sure ground.