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Hoax Alert

Fake News: Home Depot Did NOT Sponsor 129 Miles Of Trump's Border Wall

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Fri, 23 Aug 2019 21:48:34 Z)

Did Home Depot announce it would be sponsoring 129 miles of the border wall between the United States and Mexico that President Trump promised he would build? No, that's not true: the story was published by a liberal satire website that was mocking the slow progress on the wall's construction. Since the initial publication however the story has been copied by several foreign-run fake news websites that have used it to attract clicks from unsuspecting Trump supporters and conservatives so they can make money if they click the ads on the sites.

The story originated from an article (archived here) where it was published by Gish Gallop on March 5, 2019 under the title "Home Depot Sponsors 129 Miles Of Trump's Border Wall". It opened:

Atlanta, GA -- The world's largest home improvement retailer announced today that it plans on sponsoring up to 129 miles of President Trump's border wall. Home Depot, known for its labyrinth-like shopping experience and employees who avoid eye-contact says sponsoring sections of the wall is a "perfect government/corporate fit."

"We are proud to participate with President Trump's emergency declaration," said Home Depot spokesperson Bethany Millbright. "This country has given so much to Home Depot, and this is a way we can pay it back."

By sponsoring large sections of the wall, the home improvement giant hopes they can help offset the costs to the Federal government. And it's also a "branding" opportunity for the chain.

Screenshot of https://www.gishgallop.com/home-depot-sponsors-129-miles-of-trumps-border-wall/

On social media the story would look like this and it took in several people:

Home Depot Sponsors 129 Miles of Trump's Border Wall

Atlanta, GA - The world's largest home improvement retailer announced today that it plans on sponsoring up to 129 miles of President Trump's border wall. Home Depot, known for its labyrinth-like shopping experience and employees who avoid eye-contact says sponsoring sections of the wall is a "perfect government/corporate fit."

People who read the story would see it contained some clear hints indicating the tale was just nonsense:

In a related move, international food conglomerate Chiquita started a sponsorship drive that will be funding over 60 miles of the wall, while Rush Limbaugh was only willing to fund 5.2 inches of the wall. President Trump is said to have put up enough of his own money for 3 inches of the wall, but critics argue that may endanger the habitat of a rare mushroom.

In addition to that Gish Gallop also has a disclaimer at the bottom of the page that reads:

This website is for entertainment purposes only. Please do not let your children use this site. If something in one of the stories you see here is not true, that would mean it's fiction. You can still do that without censorship - create fiction. Any persons mentioned in our copy bearing resemblance to persons living or dead is a mere coincidence and probably a creation in your overactive imagination.

On the Terms and Conditions page there is a further indication that the story is not real:

Notice of intent
This website is for entertainment purposes only. Please do not let your children use this site. If something in one of the stories you see here is not true, that would mean it's fiction. You can still do that without censorship - create fiction. You may see satire and that's okay, too. If this offends you, you may want to look at a better use of your time than run-of-the-mill indignation. Your Chi will improve. This sentence legally follows the one preceding it.

Despite all this at least half a dozen fake news sites have copied the story since the initial publication. Don't fall for these grifters and don't share or like the stolen copies!

We wrote about gishgallop.com before, here are our most recent articles that mention the site:

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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