Just Because It's Trending Doesn't Mean It's True
Hoax Alert

Fake News: The Supreme Court DID NOT Just Declare Obamacare Unconstitutional

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Thu, 12 Jan 2017 19:15:03 Z)

A fake news website posted an article on January 12th 2017 claiming that the United States Supreme Court just declared the Affordable Care Act (commonly known as Obamacare) unconsititutional. Leadstories' Trendolizer engine detected the fact that the article started trending almost immediately. The article opened:

The Supreme Court, in an emergency session to determine the fate of Obamacare called by President-elect Trump, decided in a 4-4 tie that the Affordable Care Act doesn't conform to House of Representatives budgetary guidelines and is therefore unlawful.

This is clearly fake news: President Elect Trump does not even have the power to call such emergency sessions. There are established rules that determine which cases the Supreme Court can hear, and before that can even happen the case needs to have been heard by a lower court first so the Supreme Court can decide if the decision of the lower court was right or not. The article mentions no such case. Also, if the Supreme Court is tied (like the article says) it means the decision reached in the earlier court stands.

What is true is that the newly elected administration is working with House and Senate to prepare legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act, but this is not being done through the Supreme Court.

It appears the article was written to bait people into sharing it online for profit or other reasons. It might also be an attempt at satire even though there is no clear disclaimer on the site that posted it. The group behind the site bills itself like this:

We are a group of educated, God-fearing Christian conservative patriots who are tired of Obama's tyrannical reign and ready to see a strong Republican take the White House. We are sovereign citizens who want our government to keep its nose out of our business. We believe in guns, God and the Constitution and will go to any lengths to take OUR country back from the whiny, politically correct liberal masses.

Might be serious, might be parody: the fact that we can't even tell anymore says a lot... One thing is for certain though, the article is as fake as a three dollar bill. No other credible websites are reporting on this 'news', something which should give anyone pause before sharing it online.

That didn't stop hundreds of people from doing just that though, as proven by this Trendolizer graph:

About the author:

Maarten Schenk is our resident expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk

About Lead Stories

Lead Stories uses the Trendolizer™ engine to detect the most trending stories from known fake news, satire and prank websites and tries to debunk them as fast as possible. Read more about how we work and how we select stories to check here.

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