General election 2019: The misinformation war over the boy in the hospital


It’s the graven image that catapulted the NHS to the forefront of the election and led to a difficult day on the campaign trail for Boris Johnson.

Leeds Generalized Infirmary has apologised to the family of Jack, four, who was pictured sleeping on the prostrate of the hospital after being admitted with suspected pneumonia.

The infirmary’s chief medical officer, Dr Yvette Oade, said she was “extremely apologetic” that no bed was available because the unit was experiencing “exceptionally high steadies of demand”.

But despite this statement, numerous posts have been spreading on communal media claiming the photo was staged. So where did these claims appear c rise from?

The photo, which was printed on the front page of the Yorkshire The same Post and the Daily Mirror, was taken by Jack’s mother.

She said he’d been lasted as soon as he arrived and given a bed and oxygen, but a few hours later the bed had to be given to another submissive and Jack was left without one for more than four hours.

His mother ventured she then made a makeshift bed for her son with coats and took the picture.

On Monday, an ITV news-hen tried to show Boris Johnson the photo on his phone but the prime agent initially refused to look at it.

  • Johnson criticised over reaction to far-out boy image

The footage has been viewed millions of times on Twitter by oneself.

What we know about the posts

Within hours of the exchange with the prime churchman, this post emerged on Facebook claiming that, according to “a right friend” who is a senior nursing sister at Leeds Hospital, the mother the boarded the photo to send to the media and that, in fact, the boy did have a hospital trolley.

It was elementary posted on Facebook we think at about 18:30 GMT on 9 December. This support, shared at least 20,000 times, has since been deleted.

BBC Newsnight has oral to the owner of this account who said that they do not, in fact, experience a good friend who is a senior nursing sister at Leeds hospital.

The piece of work, in her 50s, who does not want to be named, said she’d accepted a friend request from someone contending to be an old school friend on Monday afternoon. Despite not recognising them, she allowed and then looked at her new friend’s Facebook page.

She saw the post about the clinic and copied and pasted it into her own account. She said the way it suddenly went viral disclosed her suspect she’d been the victim of a co-ordinated ploy. She’s now taken down her group media accounts.

Posts with identical wording to the original Facebook assign emerged on Twitter within a few hours on Monday evening.

The posts pull away from wider traction after they were shared by accounts filing Daily Telegraph columnist Allison Pearson and the Conservative politician Michael Fabricant.

A manifold post suggested that the object next to the boy was a bed and so the photo was staged. But the medical centre in its apology to Jack’s family had said there was no bed there: “We are extremely above that there were only chairs available in the treatment leeway, and no bed.”

This claim was first posted on Facebook in a pro-Brexit group and share in by similar accounts. It then made its way on to Twitter as well.

The third newel claims to be from a former paediatric nurse who questions the photo based on the specimen of oxygen mask the boy was using.

It was shared by a number of Twitter accounts involving one called PickleBertie and their post, according to the archived version of the tweet, which has now been deleted, was retweeted 529 eases and liked 739 times.

PickleBertie’s account has now been deleted, but an archived rendition of their Twitter page from early December reveals a far up level of anonymity (a generic picture of a dog with a UK flag and no personal items such as a name or link to other social media pages).

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