Be careful what you believe, folks. That’s the warning from the Deputy Online Editor for the Irish Mirror, who has confirmed that recent hype about Niall Horan at Eurovision stems from a decidedly fake news source.
As we explained on Saturday, several fan sites rushed to cover the “news” that Niall Horan was in talks to sing for Ireland at Eurovision. The reports stemmed from alleged “screengrabs” of an article supposedly published and then deleted by the Irish Mirror. These grabs were shared in a Eurovision fan forum and quickly began to circulate among the fandom.
When we saw the grabs we noticed several strange features — from the dodgy syntax to the lack of any Google record to the strange timestamp, so we decided to steer clear of reporting it. Instead, we got in touch with the Head of Delegation for Ireland. He made it clear that his team is still making its way through 430 song submissions, so it’s too early for them to have decided on a singer. Hmmm.
As hype continued to build, we decided to get in touch with the Irish Mirror directly to see if they had drafted, published and then deleted the news about Niall Horan.
And today editor Brynmor Pattison was kind enough to come back with a response.
We did NOT publish any such story, nor had we planned to. There is no record of any such story in our site since its inception published, in drafts, or deleted.
— Brynmor Pattison (@Brynmorbeer) January 7, 2019
“We did NOT publish any such story, nor had we planned to. There is no record of any such story in our site since its inception published, in drafts, or deleted.”
Brynmor also took the time to explain some of the ways you can detect fake news. His Twitter thread, which you can read here, walks through the telltale signs that the screengrabs were fakes and discusses fake news more generally.
Did you think the screengrabs were real? Do you think there’s any possibility that Niall is, in fact, having talks with RTÉ? Let us know down below.