aNewDomain — Fake news purveyors at Alt-Right paramedia sites didn’t take a breather after the election of Donald Trump last week.
They’re all still out in full force.
And the masses on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are still sharing and retweeting this editorial garbage like crazy.
Are you guilty?
If so, stop it. Check the dates and sources on the stories you see, and definitely run their images through a Google image search.Here is just a sampling of some of the fake news stories that dominated Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and various other social networks in the days since the Nov. 8, 2016 presidential election.
FAKE: Anti-Trump Protesters Block Ambulance, Father of Four-Year Old Dies
This story, which originated in an anonymous Facebook posting by someone who posed as the fictional wife of a made-up victim, was shared well over 100,000 times on that network. The conspiracy theory site Infowars ran a version of it, too, and SharedCount shows it’s already 65,594 plus reshares,
The original poster wrote:
“I have to unfacebook for a few days. I had a patient die during a transfer last night because our ambulance was stopped by protesters and had to drive an extra 45 minutes around the blocked roads,” said the anonymous post. “I can’t today. They can give their f**king safety pins to my patient’s fatherless 4 year old daughter.”(sic)
More evidence that too many people who share fake news don’t bother to read it: Even InfoWars, in its piece, wrote that the story was unconfirmed.
Best debunking: Snopes
The image of the man shown in the fake news blitz around this story that depicted a man holding a gun to his face in a selfie is old, too.
“The image appears to have first surfaced on Reddit on 21 December 2012. It is unclear who is depicted in the photograph or what his fate was, but the picture has since become part of an anthology of “selfie fails,” an Internet phenomenon of poking fun at people doing unwise things while taking pictures of themselves. In 2014, BuzzFeed included the picture in a series of 27 photographs of people doing things such as lighting the fumes from an aerosol spray can on fire or pouring chocolate syrup on themselves.”
Another note: The Infowars version of the piece says the accidental suicide happened in Skagit County. It’s true that a 43-year-old man accidentally did kill himself with a gun in a selfie, thinking the gun was unloaded.
But that sad event had nothing to do with politics and didn’t have anything to do with the man in the photo tens of thousands of people have been sharing over the last few days.
Best debunking: Snopes
FAKE: Breaking! George Soros Is Dead of a Heart Attack
And, contrary to scores and scores of shares on the social nets this week, the billionaire philanthropist George Soros is alive and well.
According to reports that originated at two Croatian-run fake news sites, “Soros was pronounced dead … following what some are describing as a violent heart attack. The world famous businessman was previously treated for minor cardio vascular issues that followed a mild course of antibiotics.”
FAKE: Putin Officially Declared: George Soros Wanted Dead or Alive!
The “Soros is dead” bogus news was just one of several fake news stories around Soros this week.
One claimed that photos reveal his Witchcraft practice. Another claimed he is facing a $550 million lawsuit to incite Black Lives Matters protesters to incite post-election violence. Those should have been blatantly obvious fake news headlines, but lots of people fell for it, a search on Twitter and Facebook reveals.
But this Soros story, alleging that Russian president Vladimir Putin has issued a “dead or alive” international arrest warrant for the billionaire, is the one that caught fire, leading to a half million likes, shares and retweets on the social nets.
The story, as it originated on the click-bait site Global Media, claimed the Kremlin has labeled Soros as “a “threat to Russian national security.” It added that “Putin banned Soros from Russia last year due to the fact that Soros helped to nearly destroy the Russian economy in the early 1990s.”
Fake and fake.
First note that, on Interpol’s list of people wanted by Russia for international arrest and extradition, Soros makes no appearance.
The Russian government did ban Soros’ charities, the Open Society Foundations (OSF) and the Open Society Institute, claiming they constituted a security risk, points out Snopes.
But Soros himself is neither banned in Russia nor wanted “dead or alive.”
Best debunking: Snopes
FAKE: The Clintons Are Finished Forever After Bill Clinton Nude Picture Surfaces
A few days ago, a Twitter account belonging to belong to someone who claimed to be an Anonymous allied hacker surfaced. It had one line:
Hi Bill Clinton Love, #Anonymous
The tweet bore one picture of man, who does look a lot like former US Pres. Bill Clinton, naked on a bed as an unidentified blonde woman massages him.
But just a quick image search would’ve revealed to anyone who cares that the image is a fake.
In its thorough debunking, Snopes points out that Jackson’s website featuring the following commentary.
“Alison Jackson is renown for her explorations into how photography and the cult of the celebrity have transformed our relationship to what is ‘real’. Her notorious photographic portraits, life-like sculptures, films and videos are startlingly realistically staged affairs that cast uncannily styled actors into an entirely fathomable projection of a future that could have been; or the intimate, often salacious, imagined private moments of media icons such as Diana Princess of Wales, the Queen of England, Marilyn Monroe, George Bush, Brad and Angelina, and David Beckham. Jackson’s productions stress-test the implicit belief that a photograph can capture a frozen moment of ‘truth.’”
If you shared this post from The Political Insider, and more than a 100,000 Americans did on Facebook, you were taken for a fool.
Cover image: Hoax-Slayer.com, All Rights Reserved.
Editor’s note: This post is part five of our continuing investigative series, which looks into paramedia and the fake news it purveys to get clicks, cash and mindshare. Here’s the series so far, in order of appearance:
Part One: How Alt-Right Fake News and Hoax Sites Scam America by Mitch Ratcliffe
Part Two: These Nine Fake News Stories Are Out To Trick Trump Supporters by Gina Smith
Part Three: Here’s How Trump Won by Jason Dias
Part Four: How Fake News, Bots and Social Won Trump the White House by Gina Smith