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Fake News: FAKE Poll, 70 Percent of Trump Supporters Do NOT Think Media Faked P.R. Deaths

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Sun, 16 Sep 2018 17:35:43 Z)

Does a poll show that 70% of the supporters of President Donald Trump think the media faked the number of deaths resulting from Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico last year? No, that's not true: the "poll" that proves this was made up by a satirical website, it is not real.

The story originated from an article published on September 14, 2018 by The Business Standard News titled "Poll: 70 Percent of Trump Supporters Think Media Faked P.R. Deaths - The Business Standard News" (archived here) which opened:

Just when you think that President Donald Trump can't get worse, he proves you wrong,

Recently he said that he didn't believe the official death toll from Hurricane Maria which hit Puerto Rico. The death toll has been recorded at about 3,000 people. However, Trump has declared his government's relief mission was a resounding success and only about 18 people died.

Trump supporters also back the president. According to an Occidental Public Polling survey, 70 percent of Trump supporters believe the media inflated the death toll to make the president looked bad.

Screenshot of https://bizstandardnews.com/2018/09/14/poll-70-percent-of-trump-supporters-think-media-faked-p-r-deaths/

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail so it looked quite official:

Poll: 70 Percent of Trump Supporters Think Media Faked P.R. Deaths - The Business Standard News

By Peter West Just when you think that President Donald Trump can't get worse, he proves you wrong, Recently he said that he didn't believe the official death toll from Hurricane Maria which hit Puerto Rico. The death toll has been recorded at about 3,000 people. However, Trump has declared his government's relief mission was ...

There is no polling organisation named "Occidental Public Polling" and most references to it appear on the same website that published this hoax: it is used in several other articles about fake polls.

The website The Business Standard News (at bizstandardnews.com) is a fake news website that publishes satirical parody articles according to the about page:

The Business Standard News is a satirical site designed to parody the 24-hour news cycle. The stories are outlandish, but reality is so strange nowadays they could be true.

The site has been in operation since at least July 25, 2015 when it published a satirical article claiming the KKK had endorsed Donald Trump. The articles on the site, the Whois record for the domain name and the @bizstandardnews twitter account all identify "Jamal Whiteman" as the author behind the site.

jamalwhiteman.jpg

We wrote about bizstandardnews.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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