Leaked documents used by Jeremy Corbyn as ‘proof’ that the Tories are planning to sell off parts of the NHS in a US trade deal WAS leaked by Russia in bid to manipulate the election, Reddit reveals
- Reddit said it banned 61 accounts following an investigation of suspect activity
- Mirrored activity of Moscow-controlled operation dubbed ‘Secondary Infektion’
- Mr Corbyn continues to use the documents as ammunition to attack the Tories
A top-secret government dossier brandished by Jeremy Corbyn as proof Boris Johnson plans to sell the NHS was leaked on Reddit by Russia to manipulate election, the social media platform has said.
Reddit said it has banned 61 accounts following an investigation into disinformation, including user Wilbur Gregoratior who first posted the documents in October and bombarded high-profile Labour figures with the link to them.
The campaign shared the same pattern of activity as a Moscow-controlled operation dubbed ‘Secondary Infektion’ uncovered by Facebook earlier this year.
Reddit’s bombshell revelation mounts pressure on Mr Corbyn, who continues to hammer out his main election attack line that the Conservatives would put health care on the table in a post-Brexit trade deal with the US.
Mr Corbyn flourished the the leaked Department for International Trade papers between UK and US officials at a press conference last month.
But the findings they were leaked as ‘part of a campaign that has been reported as originating from Russia’ will rock the Labour campaign as the race for Downing Street enters is final stretch.
In a statement, Reddit said its investigation had found a ‘pattern of coordination’ between the now-banned accounts on its site and a Russian campaign uncovered by Facebook earlier this year.
At a press conference in Westminster last week, Jeremy Corbyn brandishes a government dossier which he claims provides ‘proof’ the Tories are trying to sell the NHS to the US
Reddit said it had banned 61 accounts following an investigation of suspect activity, including Wilbur Gregoratior who posed the documents and bombarded senior Labour figures with links to the site
Information from the investigation into the ‘Secondary Infektion’ campaign on Facebook was used to identify suspect accounts on Reddit.
Reddit said: ‘This group provides us with important attribution for the recent posting of the leaked UK documents, as well as insights into how adversaries are adapting their tactics.
‘As a result of this investigation, we are banning… 61 accounts under our policies against vote manipulation and misuse of the platform. ‘
Speaking at a news conference last month, Mr Corbyn said the 451 pages left Boris Johnson’s claim the the NHS wouldn’t be part of trade talks ‘in absolute tatters’.
There is currently no suggestions the documents were false or doctored in any way.
Reddit said the leaked files had first been posted in October and then reposted by a second account.
Mr Corbyn poses with NHS workers holding documents regarding the Conservative government’s UK-US trade talks
Pockets of accounts had worked together to ‘upvote’ the posts using vote manipulation to make them more visible to users of the platform, it added.
These accounts had posted in different regional subreddits and in several different languages.
Reddit said: ‘As we have done with previous influence operations, we will also preserve these accounts for a time, so that researchers and the public can scrutinize them to see for themselves how these accounts operated.’
Labour again refused to discuss the source for the documents.
A Labour spokeman said: ‘These documents reveal the plot against our NHS. And of course neither the UK nor the US government have denied their authenticity.
‘Our releasing them to journalists was clearly in the public interest.’