Hoax Alert

Fake News: 'Busload Of Blacks' From 3 States Did NOT Drive To Alabama To Vote Illegally

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Fri, 15 Dec 2017 15:04:05 Z)

And here's the next fake/satire story copied (archive) by "real" fake news site Conservative Stamp: "BREAKING: Busload Of Blacks From 3 States Drove To Alabama To Vote Illegally". The article opened:

As you have probably heard, some blacks care so much about democracy that they openly planned to stack the vote against Roy Moore in Alabama by committing voter fraud on a massive scale.

A Reddit thread tells "African Americans in Mississippi" to "make a short trip to Alabama" and vote for Doug Jones. Well, that's apparently what happened according to State Election Integrity Board president Carl Williams.

The site that originally posted the story ("Potatiot Post") comes with a clear satire disclaimer at the bottom of each article:

sat·ire ~ˈsaˌtī(ə)r
noun
the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, OR ridicule to expose and criticize people's stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.
If you disagree with the definition of satire or have decided it is synonymous with "comedy," you should really just move along.

It appears the story is an escalated version of an earlier fake story from the same network of sites about a "van full of illegals" also voting in the Alabama election.

busload.jpg

That didn't stop the writers of Conservative Stamp from copying the article completely while omitting any mention that it was meant as satire and completely ignoring the copyright notice. The site claims to have a DMCA policy but provides no contact information for anyone to leave a complaint.

At least one internet user got taken in by the story and copied "facts" from it into a racist rant posted to the newsgroup rec.arts.tv.

The owner and main writer of the Potatriot Post is self-professed liberal troll Christopher Blair, a man from Maine who has made it his full time job to troll gullible conservatives and Trump supporters into liking and sharing his articles. He runs several other websites such as asamericanasapplepie.org, ourlandofthefree.com and freedumjunkshun.com. Sometimes he is also known under his nickname "Busta Troll". He has at least one accomplice who writes under pen names like "Freedom", "Captain Jellypants", "Butch Mannington" or "Captain Buck Atlantis".

Articles from Blair's sites frequently get copied by "real" fake news sites who often omit the satire disclaimer and any other hints the stories are fake. Blair has tried to get these sites shut down in the past but new ones keep cropping up.

He has been criticized by several fact checking sites for sometimes using real names in fake stories and for providing easy to copy stories to "real" fake news sites. He responded to these criticism by posting following post on his Facebook page:

If you are wondering, this is the Joshua Gillin article he is refering to.

If you see one of his stories on a site that does not contain a satire disclaimer, assume it is fake news. If you do see the satire disclaimer it is of course also fake news.

Want to help stop this fake news from spreading?


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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

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