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Hoax Alert

Fake News: President Trump Did NOT Reverse The Stand Down Order In Benghazi

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Fri, 24 Aug 2018 16:35:52 Z)

Did President Donald Trump reverse a Benghazi stand down order, allowing some people to now get medals? No, that's total nonsense. A story claiming he did was published by a satirical website that tries to trick Republicans and Trump supporters into sharing ridiculous over-the-top fake news so fans of the site can then mock them online. It did not happen.

The story originated from an article published by America's Last Line of Defense on August 24, 2018 titled "BREAKING: President Trump Reverses The Stand Down Order In Benghazi" (archived here) which opened:

The "stand down order" that investigators, Congress, and reporters have all verified "never happened" has officially been reversed. That action allows the heroes of Benghazi to get their posthumous Medals of Diplomacy.

Director of the White House Office of Information and Propaganda, Art Tubolls, told us:

"Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama's actions that night have kept those poor families from displaying medals their loved ones earned. Now, because of the benevolent actions of our President, those men can finally rest in piece."

Screenshot of https://americaslastlineofdefense.org/breaking-president-trump-reverses-the-stand-down-order-in-benghazi/

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail, where the spelling error might have already given away the fact that it was a satirical article:

BREAKING: President Trump Reverses The Stand Down Order In Benghazi

Thank God for are President!

The "Benghazi stand down order" refers to a controversy surounding the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya. It makes no sense to reverse such an order now as the incident is long since in the past.

New Benghazi movie reignites 'stand-down' order debate

The creators of a new Hollywood blockbuster about the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack are renewing the politically explosive allegation that commandos called to defend the U.S. compound were told to "stand down" - a claim Democrats say has no basis in fact.

There is also no "Medal of Diplomacy" and "Art Tubbols" is just an anagram for "Busta Troll", the nickname of the owner of the website that pushed the hoax story.

The site 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.

The owner and main writer of the site 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, including potatriotpost.us, dailyworldupdate.us and nofakenewsonline.us. Sometimes he is also known under his nickname "Busta Troll". A second man working on the sites is John Prager as revealed in this earlier story we wrote.

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 and he keeps knocking them down.

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.

We wrote about americaslastlineofdefense.org 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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