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Fake News: Nike Did NOT Lay Off 13,000 Employees In Wake Of Kaepernick Disaster

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Fri, 07 Sep 2018 10:18:32 Z)

Did Nike lay off 13,000 employees after the controversy involving the sponsorship of Colin Kaepernick by the brand? No, that's not true: the "news" was invented by a liberal website that tries to get conservatives and Trump supporters to share fake news so other people can mock them for being out of touch with the real word. None of it is real.

The story originated from an article published by America's Last Line of Defense on September 5, 2018 titled "BREAKING: Nike Lays Off 13,000 Employees In Wake Of Kaepernick Disaster" (archived here) which opened:

Nike has been hit hard by the backlash following their decision to hire NFL washout Colin Kaepernick to be the face of their "Just Do It" campaign -- and the newest news related to Nike's business shows it.

On Wednesday night, the company announced that they have been "forced to lay off 12,974 employees due to circumstances beyond our control."

Distraught employees have been complaining on Twitter in the hours since they were laid off.

"Just got laid off from my job of 24 years," Nike employee Cody Brooks posted on Twitter. "They said it was because of Kaepernick."

Screenshot of https://trumpbetrayed.us/all/nike-lays-off-your-mom/

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:

BREAKING: Nike Lays Off 13,000 Employees In Wake Of Kaepernick Disaster

Nike has been hit hard by the backlash following their decision to hire NFL washout Colin Kaepernick to be the face of their "Just Do It" campaign -- and the newest news related to Nike's

None of the links in the article go to actual news sources or tweets, they all point to images mocking the reader for believing the article.

The site comes with a clear satire disclaimer at the bottom of each article:

sat·ire ~ˈsaˌtī(ə)r
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.

NewsGuard, a company that uses trained journalist to rank the reliability of websites, describes trumpbetrayed.us as:

A website claiming to be satirical that publishes fabricated stories, run by Christopher Blair, a known purveyor of disinformation, that published fake stories about Senator John McCain after he passed away.

According to NewsGuard the site does not maintain basic standards of accuracy and accountability. Read their full assessment here.

We wrote about trumpbetrayed.us 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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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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