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Fake News: Judge Did NOT Order Premium Snapchat Model to Pay $60k in Taxes to IRS After Multiple Reports by Internet Users

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Mon, 17 Dec 2018 09:54:24 Z)

Was Instagram model Belle Delphine ordered to pay $60,000 in taxes to the IRS after internet users reported her? No, that's not true: the story was made up by a "fauxtire" site that creates fictional stories for entertainment purposes. It is not true.

The story originated from an article published by Huzlers on December 17, 2018 titled "Judge Orders Premium Snapchat Model to Pay $60k in Taxes to IRS After Multiple Reports by Internet Users" (archived here) which opened:

After a trend of internet users reporting premium snapchat sellers to the IRS for tax evasion, according to reports, the first case of tax evasion for premium snapchat users has finally happened. Popular instagram model @Belle.delphine, 19, was ordered to pay $60,000 by a judge after making almost $230,000 in premium snapchat memberships in the last 3 months. According to Belle's site, her most exclusive membership is $50 a month.

The IRS has been targeting snapchat models after it was revealed that models were making up to tens of thousands of dollars a month alone from selling premium memberships. Customers pay via apps such as cashapp and paypal to have access to models' exclusive content such as nude photos and videos.

Screenshot of http://www.huzlers.com/judge-orders-premium-snapchat-model-to-pay-60k-in-taxes-to-irs-after-multiple-reports-by-internet-users/

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail and some obviously mistook it for a real news report:

Judge Orders Premium Snapchat Model to Pay $60k in Taxes to IRS After Multiple Reports by Internet Users

After a trend of internet users reporting premium snapchat sellers to the IRS for tax evasion, according to reports, the first case of tax evasion for premium snapchat users has finally happened. Popular instagram model @Belle.delphine, 19, was ordered to pay $60,000 by a judge after making almost $230,000 in premium snapchat memberships in the ...

The phenomenon of ratting out online sex workers to tax authorities is a real thing which recently became quite a thing:

Right-wing trolls report online sex workers to tax authorities

Online sex workers have slammed a viral campaign by right-wing "incels" and men's rights activists to mass report them to tax authorities for allegedly failing to declare income. The hashtag #ThotAudit, which appears to have been started by a Facebook user calling themselves "David Wu", began to trend on Sunday after being promoted by controversial pick-up artist and "legal rape" advocate Daryush 'Roosh' Valizadeh.

But the story about Belle Delphine is clearly made up: it mentions a "judge Steve Wellis" but doesn't say which court he sits on and we were unable to find any news story mentioning him on Google News. And Belle Delphine's patreon page clearly mentions she is U.K. based while her Facebook profile also says she lives in London so it seems unlikely the IRS would take an interest (unless she was an American citizen but in that case it would fall to British authorities to tax her first for U.K. based income and only then would the IRS possibly take another cut if certain conditions were met).

That, and Huzlers styles itself as a "fauxtire" website and carries a disclaimer at the bottom of each page:

Huzlers.com is the most infamous fauxtire & satire entertainment website in the world. If it's trending on social media you'll find it here!

According to Splinter News the site is run by Pablo Reyes and David Martinez and according to Buzzfeed Reyes is involved with several other fake news websites. They tend to shy away from political stories, opting instead to write for a more "urban" audience, with stories about rappers, criminals and celebrities.

We wrote about huzlers.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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