Just Because It's Trending Doesn't Mean It's True
Hoax Alert

BBC Interviews Christopher Blair And Maarten Schenk in "The Faker and The Fact Checker"

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Sat, 03 Nov 2018 11:36:20 Z)

Recently the BBC World Service's "Trending" programme did a two part story about Christopher Blair, the liberal troll and internet hoaxer well known to anybody who has been following Lead Stories' reporting on him. Christopher has made it his day job to troll conservatives and Trump supporters online with outrageous stories that get them so excited they like and share them without realizing they are satirical in nature (and filled to the brim with hints and satire disclaimers) which makes them look ridiculous.

Some of his stories have been picked up by actual fake news sites though (without the hints and disclaimers) and they started to lead their own lives with people actually falling for them. There has also been some controversy about the use of names and pictures of real (non-famous) people in some of his stories, for which Blair did apologize later.

Reporter Anisa Subedar and her team actually went all the way to Maine to talk to Christopher Blair about what he does and why, and then flew all the way to Belgium to talk to me about what he is doing and how I deal with that as a fact checker.

anisa.jpg

Anisa Subedar from the BBC hitching a ride back to the station with me

In the second episode the BBC set up a live audio connection so Christopher and I could speak to each other live for the very first time (although we exchanged chat messages and emails before on occasion). Well worth a listen!

Screenshot of https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/w3csws7b

Click the links below to go to the BBC website where you can listen to the episodes:

BBC World Service - Trending, The Faker and the Fact Checker

Trending meets two men who appear to be on opposing sides in the war against fake news

BBC World Service - Trending, When The Faker Met The Fact Checker

The conclusion of our story about two men on opposing sides in the war against fake news

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
    Trendolizer™ is scanning...

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.

Spotted a hoax that you think we should investigate? Have a tip? Want to send us a correction? Contact us!

You can also follow us here:

Most read

Recent

Like or Follow us to get the latest!

NEW! Subscribe to our YouTube channel: