This week’s Behind the Headlines comes from content editor Xander Elliards. To receive the newsletter direct to your inbox every week for free, click here.

THERE are some stories you wonder how nobody noticed earlier.

A perfect example of that dropped into The National’s story tips inbox (which you can find here – let us know if you have one) on Wednesday morning.

The office was already abuzz ahead of Nicola Sturgeon’s appearance at the Covid Inquiry, but we had to drop the preparation when we saw the tip off.

“Check the UK Covid Inquiry’s official Twitter (ok, X) account,” it said. “It only follows one other account, and it beggars belief.”

So, we did, and they were right.

The official UK Covid Inquiry had – through “error” a spokesperson said – only followed one other account: DownWithTheSNP.

The cartoon profile picture of Nicola Sturgeon as a robber and multiple posts using the hashtag “evilSturgeon” were a sign that this account was probably not one the apolitical UK Covid Inquiry should be following.

So, we put in a call with the inquiry’s press team.

We’d actually already spoken to them the previous day about whether the entire State of the Union report Michael Gove penned mid-pandemic would be published. (Turns out, we have to wait and see. We’re not holding our breath.)

It would be safe to infer some scrambling happened in the inquiry offices after the call, as it did not take long at all for the official inquiry to unfollow the DownWithTheSNP account.

READ MORE: Tories accused of 'siphoning off Covid funds' for Michael Gove's secret Union paper

Someone probably got a telling off for compromising the inquiry’s image, which really couldn’t have come at a worse time given Sturgeon was about to take the stand.

The reaction to the news on social media proved what we at The National know all too well: countless people will spout nonsense without even bothering to read the story.

How else do you explain those calling it a “lie”, when the Covid Inquiry had even accepted the “error” as factual.

It might be hard to believe – we thought so – but that doesn’t mean it’s made up.

The National:

In fact, even the DownWithTheSNP account itself confirmed the story was true, sharing images of the notification it got when the inquiry followed it.

Considering the political angle of that account, defending The National was probably not something it had on the to-do list.

But facts are facts, as we heard at the Covid Inquiry, even if they’re coming from a news outlet you don’t personally like. Some people with Union flags in their social media bio would do well to remember that.

Not for the first time, this is an example of a story that was unlikely to appear elsewhere in Scotland's overwhelmingly Unionist press. It's good that The National exists to cover it.