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Hoax Alert

Fake News: Ocasio-Cortez And Omar Did NOT Vow To Remove Senior's 'Entitlements', Social Security/Medicare

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Tue, 21 May 2019 14:39:23 Z)

Did Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar vow to remove entitlements like social security and Medicare from seniors? No, that's not true. 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. Despite this the story went quite viral, hitting over 10.000 engagements on Facebook.

The story originated from an article published on May 8, 2019 titled "Ocasio-Cortez And Omar Vow To Remove Senior's 'Entitlements', Social Security/Medicare" (archived here) which opened:

Young newcomers Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the socialist, and Ilhan Omar, the Muslim, have an agenda. They intend to screw over our greatest generation by removing from them everything that we have earned over the years. They do not work for the betterment of the nation. They only look out for themselves.

The two held a joint press conference yesterday to announce their intention to remove from senior citizens what they termed "entitlements", such as Social Security and Medicare. Omar showed her lack of class and understanding of how America works when she stepped up to the microphone.

"America is for the young. It is the youth of this country that work to make it great. They are productive and tax paying. They contribute.....unlike our senior citizens who only take. Retirees are dead weight."

The story initially didn't have much impact but achieved some virality around May 20, 2019 after it was posted to several conservative Facebook pages, for example here:

Screenshot of https://dailyworldupdate.us/ocasio-cortez-and-omar-vow-to-remove-seniors-entitlements-social-security-medicare/

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

Ocasio-Cortez And Omar Vow To Remove Senior's 'Entitlements', Social Security/Medicare

Young newcomers Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the socialist, and Ilhan Omar, the Muslim, have an agenda. They intend to screw over our greatest generation by removing from them everything that we have...

But the story was posted under the category "Satire and/or Conservative Fan Fiction" and the page contains several satire disclaimers indicating nothing on the site is real.

The site is part of the "America's Last Line of Defense" network of satire websites run byself-professed liberal troll Christopher Blair from Maine and his partner in crime John Prager along with a loose confederation of friends and allies. Blair has been in a feud with fact checking website Snopes for some time now and has also criticized other fact checkers in the past who labeled his work "fake news" instead of satire. In reaction to this he has recently rebranded all his active websites and Facebook pages so they carry extremely visible disclaimers everywhere.

Every site in the network has an about page that reads (in part):

About Satire
Before you complain and decide satire is synonymous with "comedy":

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.

Everything on this website is fiction. It is not a lie and it is not fake news because it is not real. If you believe that it is real, you should have your head examined. Any similarities between this site's pure fantasy and actual people, places, and events are purely coincidental and all images should be considered altered and satirical. See above if you're still having an issue with that satire thing.

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. That happened again in this case, the story was copied by several sites that pretended it was real news:

Ocasio-Cortez And Omar Vow To Remove Senior's 'Entitlements', Social Security/Medicare

Young newcomers Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the socialist, and Ilhan Omar, the Muslim, have an agenda. They intend to screw over our greatest generation by removing from them everything that we have earned over the years. They do not work for the betterment of the nation. They only look out for themselves.

Ocasio-Cortez And Omar Vow To Remove Senior's 'Entitlements', Social Security/Medicare

Young newcomers Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the socialist, and Ilhan Omar, the Muslim, have an agenda. They intend to screw over our greatest generation by removing from them everything that we have earned over the years. They do not work for the betterment of the nation. They only look out for themselves.

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.

We wrote about dailyworldupdate.us 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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