The New York Times has identified another culprit in its war on ?misinformation?, claiming that cute animals featuring in viral content help to spread right-wing propaganda and coronavirus conspiracies.
In the article, titled 'Those Cute Cats Online? They Help Spread Misinformation,' New York Times's technology reporter Davey Alba claimed "videos and GIFs of cute animals - usually cats" were being used by "people and organizations peddling false information online."
Alba listed the US conservative publication Western Journal and the anti-Beijing newspaper The Epoch Times as just a few examples of outlets supposedly using animal content to redirect unsuspecting viewers towards "misinformation".
According to the article, The Epoch Times has featured cute animals in 12,062 social media posts across 103 Facebook pages, with the posts containing links towards the newspaper's more political content.
The report received mixed reaction on social media with critics calling its claims "preposterous" and an overreaction.
"They seem to think it's some sinister conspiracy when in reality it's just people with broad interests who like nice things," one person reacted, while another accused the newspaper of trying to make people "feel guilty for enjoying a cute cat pic."