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Hoax Alert

Fake News: Obama Did NOT Say "I Fully Support Seizure Of White Farmers' Land In South Africa"

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Sat, 04 Aug 2018 22:59:19 Z)

Did former President Barack Obama say he supports the seizure of white farmer's land in South Africa? No, that's a fake quote, made up by a website that plagiarises articles from other websites about real news events and then adds some invented claims in the headline and first paragraphs to attract more clicks and make more advertising money. The quotes attributed to Obama in the title of the article and first paragraphs are not real.

The story originated from an article published by YourNewsWire on August 4, 2018 titled "Obama: "I Fully Support Seizure Of White Farmers' Land In South Africa"" (archived here) which opened:

Barack Obama has praised the South African government's recent decision to legalize the seizure of land from white farmers.

In a speech delivered at the 2018 Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture in Johannesburg, Obama heaped praise on the South African president for amending the constitution and allowing people to steal land from white farmers without compensation.

During the speech Obama also called for a guaranteed income.

Screenshot of https://yournewswire.com/obama-support-seizure-white-farmers-south-africa/

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail, which contains no actual real facts:

Obama: "I Fully Support Seizure Of White Farmers' Land In South Africa"

Barack Obama has praised the South African government's recent decision to legalize the seizure of land from white farmers.

Obama did go to South Africa and he did deliver a speech there, which you can read in full here:

Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture 2018: Obama's full speech - Nelson Mandela Foundation

Former US President Barack Obama delivered the 16th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture in Johannesburg on Tuesday 17 July 2018. Here's the full transcript of his speech, based on the theme "Renewing the Mandela Legacy and Promoting Active Citizenship in a Changing World".

Nowhere in the speech do the words "white farmers", "seizure" or "seize" even appear. These quotes are completely made up by YourNewsWire.

Most of the rest of the article is copied from Gateway Pundit:

STUNNING: Obama Praises South African Leader Despite Race Killings and New Law that Seizes White Farmers' Land without Compensation

Barack Obama traveled to South Africa in July and delivered a speech at the 2018 Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture in Johannesburg. During the speech Obama called for guaranteed income. Obama also lectured rich people for buying big homes despite purchasing a $8.1 million home in the DC area.

That story is slightly more accurate. Obama did indeed praise President Ramaphosa in passing during the introduction of his speech, in which he also mentioned several other people present for the lecture:

Thank you. To Mama Graça Machel, members of the Mandela family, the Machel family, to President Ramaphosa who you can see is inspiring new hope in this great country, professor, doctor, distinguished guests, to Mama Sisulu and the Sisulu family, to the people of South Africa, it is a singular honour for me to be here with all of you as we gather to celebrate the birth and life of one of history's true giants.

You can certainly call a passing mention during the introduction of a speech about someone inspiring new hope "praise" and you can get worked up about that if you don't like the policies that person is involved with.

But then invending new quotes out of whole cloth? That's fake news!

YourNewsWire has published several hoaxes and fake news articles in the past so anything they write or publish should be taken with a large grain of salt. Their Facebook page "The People's Voice" recently lost its verification checkmark according to a report from MMFA.

The Terms of Use of the site also make it clear they don't really stand behind the accuracy of any of their reporting:

THE PEOPLE'S VOICE, INC. AND/OR ITS SUPPLIERS MAKE NO REPRESENTATIONS ABOUT THE SUITABILITY, RELIABILITY, AVAILABILITY, TIMELINESS, AND ACCURACY OF THE INFORMATION, SOFTWARE, PRODUCTS, SERVICES AND RELATED GRAPHICS CONTAINED ON THE SITE FOR ANY PURPOSE.

The site was profiled in the Hollywood reporter where it was described as:

Your News Wire, a 3-year-old website of murky facts and slippery spin, is published by Sean Adl-Tabatabai and Sinclair Treadway -- a Bernie Sanders supporter in 2016 -- out of an apartment in L.A.'s historic El Royale.

RationalWiki described it as:

YourNewsWire (styled as YourNewsWire.com[1]) is an Los Angeles-based clickbait fake news website known for disseminating conspiracy theories and misleading information, contrary to its claimed motto ("News. Truth. Unfiltered").[1]

A while ago we also reported that YourNewsWire had rebranded itself as NewsPunch by changing its domain name in an apparent effort to evade filtering/blocking. It appears the site has changed back to it's old name in the mean time but you can still see the NewsPunch name in the contact email address in the footer.

We wrote about yournewswire.com before, here are our most recent articles that mention the site:

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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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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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