Second site posing as Long-Bailey leadership candidate page sends visitors to rival site – and behaves the same when discovered
Yesterday the SKWAWKBOX revealed the existence of a fake website claiming to be for the campaign of Labour leadership hopeful Rebecca Long-Bailey, which redirected visitors to the page of rival Lisa Nandy.
When the site was exposed, it was changed so that it redirected members to the Labour Party’s website.
Thanks to a SKWAWKBOX reader a second, similar site has been identified – one that behaved – before and after its exposure – almost identically.
Tom Tunney found the site – and captured its operation in a video that he published on his Facebook feed:
While Tunney attributed the fake site to the Nandy campaign, it’s possible that it was set up independently by a supporter – or even by a rival trying to create suspicion.
Ms Nandy’s office has not responded to requests for comment on either fake site.
The second fake page – rebeccaforleader.com, very close to the rebeccaforleader.org of the authentic site – appears to be connected to the first and is likely to have been set up by the same person or organisation. According to its ‘whois’ information, it was set up through the same anonymised registering organisation and at the same time as the first site, rebeccalongbaileyforleader.com:
Interestingly, both sites were set up only four days after the general election result. Long-Bailey’s authentic site was not created until 6 January and her candidacy was not announced until this month, so it appears someone was preparing a fake-news campaign in advance on the assumption that she would stand.
When the first site was exposed, it was quickly changed so that it redirected to the Labour Party site. When the second was outed, it was soon changed so that it redirected to an article on the Independent website about Keir Starmer, another candidate in the contest.
Soon after that, in the early hours of this morning, the page was briefly taken offline but is now back and currently still routing visitors to the Independent.
The spread of such disinformation and misdirection into the Labour leadership contest is deeply concerning. Members and registered supporters should take care to check that information they receive is genuine and accurate.
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