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

Fake News: Liberal Vandals Did NOT Spray Joshua Trump's House With Racist Graffiti

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Fri, 08 Feb 2019 00:34:15 Z)

Was the house of Joshua Trump vandalized with racist graffiti by liberal vandals while he was attending President Trump's State of the Union speech (during which he fell asleep)? No, that's not true, at least the vandalism part. The story was published by a liberal satire website that tries to educate gullible Trump supporters and Republicans about the need to actually click and read links before sharing or liking them in order to avoid being embarrassed by fans of the site later. All the events described in the article are not real.

The story originated from an article published by America's Last Line of Defense on February 7, 2019 titled "BREAKING: Liberal Vandals Spray Joshua Trump's House With Racist Graffiti" (archived here) which opened:

Poor Joshua Trump was bullied in school because of his last name, so President Trump and the First Lady did the right thing: they invited him to be on camera at the State of the Union Address.

While Josh fell asleep during the SOTU, Fox News says he was excited to hear President Trump's words. But the story doesn't have a happy ending. When Josh and his parents returned home, they found their house covered with racist graffiti:

"No White," the graffiti reads, as well as "BLM" -- shorthand for Black Lives Matter. According to reports from the local news station, swastikas were painted on the doorway as well.

Screenshot of https://wearethellod.com/josh-trump-american-hero/

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:

BREAKING: Liberal Vandals Spray Joshua Trump's House With Racist Graffiti

Poor Joshua Trump was bullied in school because of his last name, so President Trump and the First Lady did the right thing: they invited him to be on camera at the State of the Union Address. Whil...

But the photo illustrating the story is actually two years old and was apparently taken in Kansas, not in Delaware (where Joshua Trump actually lives according to media reports):

House in east kansas city defaced by hateful graffiti - scoopnest.com

Scoopnest is a web media which finds for you the best tweets in real time! Get the top latest buzz on Twitter about everything you like : Breaking news, Sports, People, Fashion, Business, Entertainment, Health, Technology, Finance, etc... We sort and classify the best buzzing tweets in categories that interest you the most.

The site that posted the hoax 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.

Blair and his operation were profiled by the Washington Post on November 17, 2018 by Eli Saslow:

'Nothing on this page is real': How lies become truth in online America

November 17 The only light in the house came from the glow of three computer monitors, and Christopher Blair, 46, sat down at a keyboard and started to type. His wife had left for work and his children were on their way to school, but waiting online was his other community, an unreality where nothing was exactly as it seemed.

If you are interested in learning more about Blair and the history of his sites, here is something to get you started:

The Ultimate Christopher Blair and America's Last Line of Defense Reading List | Lead Stories

STORY UPDATED: check for updates below. Yesterday Eli Saslow at the Washington Post wrote a fantastic article about Christopher Blair, a man from Maine who has been trolling conservatives and Trump supporters online for years and occasionally even made a living out of it.

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.

NewsGuard, a company that uses trained journalist to rank the reliability of websites, describes wearethellod.com as:

A site that publishes false stories and hoaxes that are often mistaken for real news, part of a network named America's Last Line of Defense run by hoax perpetrator Christopher Blair.

According to NewsGuard the site does not maintain basic standards of accuracy and accountability. Read their full assessment here.

We wrote about wearethellod.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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