Legend of Cottingley Fairies is early example of fake news - The Yorkshire Post says

Head Curator , Geoff Belknap with the latest addition to the The National Science and Media Museum, the third and final camera in the Cottingley Fairies story added to its collections. 16 December 2019.  Picture Bruce Rollinson
Head Curator , Geoff Belknap with the latest addition to the The National Science and Media Museum, the third and final camera in the Cottingley Fairies story added to its collections. 16 December 2019. Picture Bruce Rollinson

in the vast online world, where one compelling tale after another is shared from one person to the next, it is not always easy to identify what comes from a credible source and what, on the contrary, is inaccurate information seeping into public consciousness.

But ‘fake news’ and the spread of misinformation is not a new concept.

The National Science and Media Museum's collection of the Cottingley Fairies cameras. 16 December 2019.  Picture Bruce Rollinson

The National Science and Media Museum's collection of the Cottingley Fairies cameras. 16 December 2019. Picture Bruce Rollinson

Camera which took picture of Cottingley Fairies to go on display in Yorkshire

In fact, the legend of the Cottingley Fairies is perhaps the first example of fake news – and that dates back to 1917, when two girls produced photographs of fairies dancing outside their home near Bingley.

Now known to be staged, at the time they were said to be clear evidence that the creatures existed.

A camera gifted to the girls so they could produce more images of the fairies is going on display for the first time, at the National Science and Media Museum.

Original Cottingley Fairies hoax photographs to be sold at auction

Let it be a timely reminder – in a week where this newspaper made international headlines for calling out lies – of the importance of putting your faith in news you can trust.