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Hoax Alert

Fake News: Voting Machines Did NOT Fail To Display Candidate Party Affiliations During Midterm Elections

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Tue, 06 Nov 2018 19:55:20 Z)

Was there an issue with voting machines during the U.S. midterm elections causing party affiliation not to show up after candidate's names? No, that's not real news: it was a bit of satire mocking the current partisan election climate that was published by a Christian themed satire website. Even though it is just a joke it went massively viral after hitting a chord with readers.

The story originated from an article published on November 6, 2018 titled "Mass Confusion At Polls After Voting Machines Fail To Display Candidates' Party Affiliations" (archived here) which opened:

U.S.--Across the nation, mass panic and confusion broke out at the polls Tuesday after thousands of voting machines malfunctioned, failing to display the candidates' party affiliations.

The glitch forced confused voters to select candidates based on knowledge of their platform positions, policies, and personal character, rather than simply looking for the little "R" or "D" next to their name.

Screenshot of https://babylonbee.com/news/mass-confusion-at-polls-after-voting-machines-fail-to-display-candidates-party-affiliations

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail so we are not entirely sure everyone got the joke:

Mass Confusion At Polls After Voting Machines Fail To Display Candidates' Party Affiliations

U.S.--Across the nation, mass panic and confusion broke out at the polls Tuesday after thousands of voting machines malfunctioned, failing to display the candidates' party affiliations.The glitch forced confused voters to select candidates based on knowledge of their platform positions, policies, and personal character, rather than simply looking ...

But "The Babylon Bee" comes with following dislaimer on every page:

The Babylon Bee is Your Trusted Source For Christian News Satire.

Some of their greatest past hits include:

With a track record like that it is clear that you shouldn't take anything posted on the site seriously and you definitely shouldn't confuse it with real news.

We wrote about babylonbee.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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