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Hoax Alert

Fake News: Trans-species Man Did NOT Identifies as Turkey & Does NOT Want to Ban Thanksgiving Day

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Wed, 21 Nov 2018 18:13:22 Z)

Did a 42-year old man from Oklahoma named James O'Keefe call for a ban on Thanksgiving Day because he identifies as a trans-species turkey? No, that's complete nonsense: the story was made up by a Canadian website that invents stories about bizarre crimes, weird sex acts and general oddities for entertainment purposes. The story is not true, although we suspect the name "James O'Keefe" for the fictional turkey-man was chosen on purpose so that internet searches for the conservative political activist James O'Keefe III would bring up search results about a trans-species turkey.

The story originated from an article published by World News Daily Report on November 21, 2018 titled "Trans-species man who identifies as a turkey wants to ban Thanksgiving Day" (archived here) which opened:

An Oklahoma trans-species man who identifies as a turkey is calling for politicians to ban once and for all the American holiday of Thanksgiving Day, which he describes as "an unjustified genocide" of his "fellow birdkin."

James O'Keefe, 42, who has identified as a turkey since he is 5-years-old, plans to go on a 100-day hunger strike to raise awareness amongst the American population of the murdering of millions of turkeys on the day of Thanksgiving each year.

O'Keefe came out publicly about his trans-speciesism when he was 35 after he realized his marriage was not working and that he could no longer lie to himself about his true identity.

Screenshot of https://worldnewsdailyreport.com/trans-species-man-who-identifies-as-a-turkey-wants-to-ban-thanksgiving-day/

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail, so some people might think it was a real news article:

Trans-species man who identifies as a turkey wants to ban Thanksgiving Day

An Oklahoma trans-species man who identifies as a turkey is calling for politicians to ban once and for all the American holiday of Thanksgiving Day, which he describes as "an unjustified genocide" of his "fellow birdkin." James O'Keefe, 42, who has identified as a turkey since he is 5-years-old, p

But the picture used with the story is actually from an article about a turkey rescued in 2016:

Welcome to Albert and Friends Rescue Foundation Help US Rescue A Turkey

Albert is truly a unique story. We rescued him on Thanksgiving 2016 and almost immediately he took a liking to us. He would follow us everywhere and starting offering hugs. He loves to cuddle and I'm convinced he thinks he's a human and not a turkey.

The website World News Daily Report is a well known satire website specialized in posting hoaxes and made up stories. The disclaimer on their website is pretty clear about that even though you have to scroll all the way down the page to find it:

World News Daily Report assumes all responsibility for the satirical nature of its articles and for the fictional nature of their content. All characters appearing in the articles in this website - even those based on real people - are entirely fictional and any resemblance between them and any person, living, dead or undead, is purely a miracle.

It is run by Janick Murray-Hall and Olivier Legault, who also run the satirical Journal de Mourréal, a satirical site spoofing the (real) Journal de Montéal. Very often their stories feature an image showing a random crazy mugshot found in a mugshot gallery on the internet or on a stock photo website superimposed over a background of flashing police lights or crime scene tape.

Articles from the site are frequently copied (sometimes even months or years later) by varous fake news websites that omit the satire disclaimer and present the information as real.

We wrote about worldnewsdailyreport.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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