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

Fake News: Source Did NOT Say Epstein Implicated High-Powered Democrats In Suicide Note

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Sat, 10 Aug 2019 22:10:31 Z)

Did a source claim Jeffrey Epstein's suicide note implicated several high-powered democrats like Bill Clinton but also Joe Rogan and Kevin Spacey? 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 with the content which is probably not what they expected or wanted.

The story originated from an article published by Potatriots Unite on August 10, 2019 titled "Source: Epstein Implicated High-Powered Democrats In Suicide Note" (archived here) which opened:

A source inside the Middlesex County Correctional Facility in Billerica, Massachusetts is confirming that a suicide note was found in the cell of Jeffrey Epstein in a holding cell in Manhattan. According to the source:

"The prison system is a close community. The guards working solitary confinement charged with keeping suicidal prisoners alive take it seriously, so when we lose one, word gets around.

Epstein left a suicide note that is now in the hands of the FBI that implicates Bill Clinton, Kevin Spacey, Joe Rogan, and possibly the Duggar family as complicit in his pedophile island project to bring what he called 'willing participants' to his palatial estate in the Virgin Islands, where he would be exempt from all laws.

Screenshot of https://potatriotsunite.com/source-epstein-implicated-high-powered-democrats-in-suicide-note/

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

Source: Epstein Implicated High-Powered Democrats In Suicide Note

The truth is right there in front of you.

The story was posted under the category "Clinton Satire You'll Just Believe" and several words in the article linked to Google translations from English to Russian of following texts. For example, "the source" was pointing to:

The words "the source" don't actually constitute anything real, official, or valid without some kind of actual credentials to back them up. We're a bunch of liberal trolls. We're lying to you. Thanks for stopping by.

And "won't report on" went to:

Because they're not real sources. They're complete crocks of horse shit.

Finally "possibly ask for" linked to:

How about just a smidge of reality?

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):

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.

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:

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 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:

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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

About Lead Stories

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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