Did the United Nations award Barack Obama the "Leader of the Century Award" for the 4th time straight? No, that's not true. The story was published by a liberal satire website that tries to mislead 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 United Nations, in all their 'wisdom' has given their annual prize for 'Leader of the Century' to past president, Barack Obama for the fourth time. Winners are selected through votes cast, not by UN representatives of its members, but by the heads of state of each member nation. Votes from by the world's presidents and prime ministers for themselves are automatically disqualified and removed from the count. The United State's vote was thus declined.
Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:
The United Nations, in all their 'wisdom' has given their annual prize for 'Leader of the Century' to past president, Barack Obama for the fourth time. Winners are selected ...
There is no U.N. "Leader of the Century Award" and the story was posted in two categories that clearly indicate the story was just a joke: "More Trump Jealousy In Satire Form" and "Satire and/or Conservative Fan Fiction".
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 bustatroll.org 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 bustatroll.org before, here are our most recent articles that mention the site:
- Fake News: Pelosi Did NOT "Say Americans Are The Stupidest People On Earth"
- Fake News: Pope Francis Did NOT Say God Will Abandon America If Trump Is Re-elected
- Fake News: It's NOT Official, Michelle Obama NOT Running For President
- Fake News: Trump Does NOT Want To Make Mocking Jesus Christ A Hate Crime
- Fake News: Kamala Harris Did NOT Say "Our Police Are All Criminal Animals; They Are A Cancer"
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