STORY UPDATED: check for updates below.
Did a judge award a man named Samuel Kepelplorp $14 million for being the biological father of the Obama children? No, that's not true. The story was published by a liberal satire website that tries to fool Trump supporters and Republicans into sharing made up stories that are clearly marked as satire when you actually click them. Articles from the site are frequently copied by foreign-run fake news websites. The people liking and sharing these stories are enriching foreign website operators (or a liberal from Maine) via the ad revenue generated which is probably not what they expected or wanted.
Samuel Kepelplorp of Bahrain, Utah was chosen by Barrack Obama and his then-boyfriend, Michael Flemingston Robbins to be the father of two children. Those two children, Malia and Sasha Obama, were to never know about their biological father.
All of that ended when Sasha turned 18, as the couple always knew it would. Now that they're adults, the Obama girls are no longer under the protection of their parents. Kepelplorp immediately filed suit for $40 million. His attorney, Art Tubolls, Esq., told us via email:
"Sam just wants some recognition that he provided the DNA that made the Obama girls what they are. Michelle couldn't have children, and Barack likes men. So what's the big deal? They hid it from the people and claimed the kids were theirs. Now they'll have to pay."
Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:
He waited long enough.
The story was originally posted under the category "Confirmation Bias Fan Fiction" and the name of the lawyer ("Art Tubolls") is just an anagram for "Busta Troll", the nickname of the founder of the site. Oh, and there is no town in Utah named Bahrein. And the man pictured as the dad is not Samuel Kepelplorp but Robert F. Smith:
Robert F. Smith, CEO and founder of private equity firm Vista Equity Partners, just graced the cover of Forbes' richest Americans issue. With a net worth of $2.5 billion, he's ranked No. 268 on Forbes' list of wealthiest Americans.
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 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):
Before you complain and decide satire is synonymous with "comedy":
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.
Here is a video of Blair explaining how his process works:
If you are interested in learning more about Blair and the history of his sites, here is something to get you started:
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 potatriotsunite.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 potatriotsunite.com before, here are our most recent articles that mention the site:
: Added info on Robert F. Smith
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