Check out this alleged “ABC News” report picked up by the Toronto Sun (and attributed to the Associated Press). Anyone find it…kind of funny? A sample:
David Mikkelson, founder of Snopes.com, a website known for its biased opinions and inaccurate information they write about stories on the internet in order to generate advertising revenue, told ABC News that he approves of what a story like this is accomplishing.
“You have to understand that when a story like this goes viral, and we spend a minute or two debunking it, we make lots of money. Stories like this have helped put my children through college, buy a new car, a home and even get the Silverback gorilla my wife Barbara always wanted since she was a child,” Mikkleson said.
If anything qualifies as “fake news,” this has to be a textbook example. In fact, it is so badly done, a farrago of hyperbole and factitious nonsense, that is almost seems that it might be fake fake news.
But in any case this bogus “report” was retailed holus-bolus by the Toronto Sun and foisted upon its unsuspecting readers.
Note that the actual ABC newslink is: http://abcnews.go.com/. The URL in the story is blocked on Facebook.
Fake news from the credulous (and I am being charitable here) Toronto Sun. Checking sources? Why would they do that?
UPDATE: (2:45pm) As a reader notes in the comments, the “story” has now disappeared from the Sun—leaving only a headline and a picture.
It was created by Paul Horner, who posts fake news on a variety of websites. Some of his posts go viral, presumably boosting his standing with Google’s news algorithm. The fake news posts typically earn Horner — according to an interview with the Washington Post — $10,000 a month in ad sales.
… “[Trump’s] followers don’t fact-check anything — they’ll post everything, believe anything,” Horner said. Referring to then-Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, Horner said, “His campaign manager posted my story about a protester getting paid $3,500 as fact. Like, I made that up. I posted a fake ad on Craigslist.”
UPPESTDATE: Oh, this is delicious. The “reporter” who wrote the fake news story had pompously lectured us all a mere two days ago about the dangers of circulating—you guessed it—fake news stories. [Big tip o’ the hat to Canadian Cynic.]
EVEN UPPIERDATE: I may have to go back to reading Twitter if this keeps up. The fellow who wrote the original fake news story, Paul Horner, has a message for those he sucked in. Thanks again to Canadian Cynic, who’s been doing a little follow-up.