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Hoax Alert

Fake News: Bernie Sanders NOT Elected Governor of Virginia

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Wed, 07 Nov 2018 02:49:23 Z)

Was Bernie Sanders just elected Governor of Virginia during the U.S. midterm elections? No, that's not true: he did get elected but it was as Senator for Vermont. The "news" that he got the governorship of Virginia came from a left-wing satire site that likes to poke fun at conservatives and Trump supporters by tricking them into liking and sharing over the top fake news stories that are filled to the brim with hints and satire disclaimers if you actually take the trouble to click through to and read them before liking and sharing.

The story originated from an article published on Be Best Website on November 7, 2018 titled "BREAKING : Results Are In : Bernie Sanders Elected Governor of Virginia" (archived here) which opened:

In a stunningly freakish race, Senator Bernie Sanders, who in no way was running for the position, was elected Governor of Virginia, CNN confirmed, moments ago.

Experts are blaming the fictional upset on voter fraud, probably perpetrated by members of MS-13, slowly subverting the election process from their caravan. Others point fingers at George Soros and his army of winged socialist pegasus-riders, who may have been paid to swoop down and manipulate votes.

Screenshot of https://bebest.website/breaking-results-are-in-bernie-sanders-elected-governor-of-virginia/

Users on social media only saw this title and thumbnail:

BREAKING : Results Are In : Bernie Sanders Elected Governor of Virginia

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.

Recently Blair and his minions announced they were taking a break from trolling until the midterm electios were over.

Satirical Fake News Writer Christopher Blair Announces Midterm Election Moratorium | Lead Stories

Readers of this site are probably aware that some of the content found on Macedonian fake news websites is often copied directly from the satirical sites and Facebook pages of

It appears the quiet time is over, so 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.

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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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