Last year, Media Lens wrote:
It is obvious that the right-wing press – the Daily Mail, the Sun, The Times and Telegraph – play a toxic role in manipulating the public to favour elite interests. But many people are now realising that the liberal press is actually the most potent opponent of progressive change.
Our own work highlighting the Guardian's hostility toward Jeremy Corbyn was shared widely on social media. It even resulted in the hashtag #BoycottTheGuardian trending on Twitter (thanks to the excellent LuckyHeron).
Commenting on why the Guardian appeared to have misread the public mood in its attacks on Jeremy Corbyn, journalist Matt Kennard wrote:
'The Guardian didn't get it "wrong". It is the mouthpiece of a liberal elite that is financially endangered by a socialist program.'
Media Lens go on to write:
In truth, the Guardian sought to destroy Corbyn long before he became Labour leader (see here and here). This means that it did not target him because he was an ineffective leader imperilling Labour. And this hostility was no aberration, not a well-intentioned mistake that they got 'wrong'. To this day, the Guardian remains Blair's great cheerleader, despite his awesome crimes, just as it was Hillary Clinton and Obama's cheerleader, and just as it was Bill Clinton's before them.
The Guardian "earning off the back of popular outrage"
Despite widespread awareness that the Guardian is no friend of the left, and growing support for the boycott of the paper, many activists and social media users still inadvertently support the Guardian by sharing links to its articles on social media.
The Guardian goes to great lengths to attract advertisers and earns a lot from it. While it's important to highlight and criticise the Guardian's output and the role it plays in spreading propaganda, we shouldn't be sending visitors to the site when doing it. Especially as popular outrage often drives more traffic to the Guardian than even the Guardian's own social media accounts.
It doesn't matter what your view of the Guardian is or how scathing your criticism, by sharing its links you are not only increasing their share count, you are sending visitors to the site to get exposed to advertising and inflating the site's visitor numbers. Each time you share a link to the Guardian, you help the Guardian.
An easy solution is simply not to share anything from the Guardian. Even if it's a good piece you agree with, don't share it, don't send them the traffic. Even better, explain why you're not sharing. Send a link to this page if you like.
Despite the growing awareness of the Guardian's propaganda role — thanks to groups like Media Lens and people like Jonathan Cook, Mark Curtis and John Pilger, who have spent years highlighting and challenging its output — the paper is still seen by many, as Jonathan Cook puts it, "the house journal of the left." Making its influence "far more pernicious than other media." So it's still important to explain why the Guardian shouldn't be trusted, and to continue to highlight its propaganda role in society.
So how do we share Guardian articles without supporting the site? Here are our suggestions: