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Hoax Alert

Fake News: NO Ocasio-Cortez Bill Requires Seniors to Renew Driver's Licenses Monthly

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Thu, 07 Nov 2019 14:49:10 Z)

Did Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez come up with a new bill that would require seniors to renew their driver's license every month? 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 story originated from an article published by Daily World Update on November 4, 2019 titled "Ocasio-Cortez Bill Requires Seniors to Renew Driver's Licenses Monthly" (archived here) which opened:

Just as Alvin and the Chipmunks had "Chipette", the unnecessary cutesy female character that added nothing intelligent to the mix, so the Democratic Congress has Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Full of grand ideas and possibly marshmallow fluffernutter, she's forever striving to make a name for herself. Besides "Princess Sissy of Socialistia".

AOC's latest brainstorm is house bill 3868, the "Magoo Vehicular Safety Act", which mandates a requirement that all citizens over the age of 65 and in possession of a valid driver's license must renew it on a monthly basis and submit to a rudimentary vision test in order to remain legal to operate. This suggestion is not only blatantly ageist, but will lead to a shocking waste of government resources.

Screenshot of https://dailyworldupdate.us/license-to-chill/

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

Ocasio-Cortez Bill Requires Seniors to Renew Driver's Licenses Monthly

This is an outrage.

To anyone who clicked through to actually read the story it would be immediately apparent the story was satirical in nature. The header of the site proclaimed "Satire for flat earthers, Trumpsters and y'all qaeda" and the article in question was posted under a category named "AOC Fan Fiction for the Discerning Tater". To be really sure we searched for the closest thing to "house bill 3868" we could find and came up with this:

Text - H.R.3868 - 116th Congress (2019-2020): Help Oversee, Manage, and Evaluate Safe Treatment and Ensure Access without Delay Act of 2019

There is one version of the bill. To grant Members of Congress access to detention facilities, and for other purposes. IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES Ms. Wasserman Schultz (for herself, Ms. Dean, Ms. Mucarsel-Powell, Ms. Shalala, Mrs.

There is no "Magoo Vehicular Safety Act" either, that is just a reference to a cartoon character:

Mr. Magoo

Mr. Magoo, sometimes given his first name Quincy, is a fictional cartoon character created at the UPA animation studio in 1949. Voiced by Jim Backus, Mr. Magoo is a wealthy, short-statured retiree who gets into a series of comical situations as a result of his extreme near-sightedness, compounded by his stubborn refusal to admit the problem.

NewsGuard, a company that uses trained journalist to rank the reliability of websites, describes dailyworldupdate.us as:

A news site that publishes false stories and hoaxes that are often mistaken for real news. The site is part of a network 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.

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.

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

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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