BBC boss hits out at critic of disinformation reporter Marianna Spring

BBC boss hits out at critic of disinformation correspondent and chief fact-checker Marianna Spring as she is accused of lying on her CV – saying those calling for her to be sacked should ‘be kind’

  • BBC disinformation correspondent Marianna Spring is alleged to have lied on CV

A BBC boss today hit back at criticism of the corporation’s disinformation correspondent after claims she lied about her experience on her CV.  

Marianna Spring, 27, who reports on social media and how it exploits falsehoods, was herself accused of giving misleading information to secure work.

It was reported Ms Spring claimed to have worked alongside BBC correspondent Sarah Rainsford covering the ‘perception of Russia’, when it appears she had not.

The BBC refused to comment on the claims but this morning Radio 4 and Sounds head of communications, Philly Spurr, told one X (Twitter) user who had called for Ms Spring to be sacked: ‘You’ve sent five consecutive tweets saying this now.

‘How is “Be kind to each other!” on your profile working out for you?’

The comment came in response to a number of posts from an account called TomCat, which posted: ‘Thank you for being an absolutely lying hypocrite with ZERO credibility. Sack NOW!’ 

Marianna Spring , 27, who shot to prominence reporting on social media exploiting falsehoods

BBC boss Philly Spurr hit out on Twitter after suggestions Ms Spring should be sacked

The account has just 60 followers and largely retweets content, but has criticised Ms Spring in a number of posts.

READ MORE: How social media algorithms ‘promote hate’: BBC Panorama reveals how Facebook and Instagram actively push ‘anti women’ content to users

The allegations centre around a report which claimed that around five years ago Ms Spring was trying to get work as a freelancer in Moscow for US-based news site Coda Story.

An article in The New European said that when she applied to the website’s editor-in-chief Natalia Antelava in 2018, she said she had worked alongside BBC correspondent Sarah Rainsford on covering the ‘perception of Russia’ during the 2018 football World Cup.

Her CV reportedly boasted: ‘June 2018: Reported on International News during the World Cup, specifically the perception of Russia, with BBC correspondent Sarah Rainsford.’

According to The New European, Ms Antelava, a former BBC journalist herself, is said to have rebuked Ms Spring after checking out the claim and finding it to be false.

Ms Spring is said to have sent an email apologising for her ‘awful misjudgment’.

She is said to have written: ‘I’ve only bumped into Sarah whilst she’s working and chatted to her at various points, but nothing more.

‘Everything else on my CV is entirely true.’

The young journalist added that she was a ‘brilliant reporter’ and in the emails also admitted there was ‘no excuse’.

She said her only explanation was her ‘desperation to report out in Moscow’ and thinking it ‘wouldn’t be a big deal’, which she admitted was ‘naive and stupid’.

Questions: BBC News disinformation correspondent Marianna Spring

Marianna Spring , who has shot to prominence with her reporting on the way social media has been used to peddle false information, is facing the embarrassing allegation that she gave misleading information to try to secure work

An article in The New European said Ms Spring claimed she had worked alongside BBC correspondent Sarah Rainsford (pictured) on covering the ‘perception of Russia’

In the email exchange published by The New European, Ms Antelava told her: ‘Telling me you are a brilliant reporter who exercises integrity and honesty when you have literally demonstrated the opposite was a terrible idea.’

The Coda Story boss, who is understood not to have hired Ms Spring, is said to have added: ‘I am sure if you use this as a lesson, things will work out.’

Ms Spring, who was promoted to her disinformation and social media correspondent title in August last year, has worked for Panorama and has her own BBC podcast called Marianna In Conspiracyland.

She is part of the BBC Verify team tasked with fact-checking, countering disinformation and ‘explaining complex stories in the pursuit of truth’.

The BBC declined to comment last night and again this morning.

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