Fake News: Austin Bomber NOT On Clinton Foundation Payroll

Fact Check

  • by: Maarten Schenk
Fake News: Austin Bomber NOT On Clinton Foundation Payroll

Was the "Austin Bomber" Mark Anthony Conditt on the payroll of the Clinton Foundation? No. That bizarre conspiracy actually came from a satire website set up to troll conservatives and republicans who are bad at using Google or clicking links. It is entirely false and made up (and also not true).

The claim was made in an article originally published on March 22, 2018 by the website Daily World Update under the headline "Austin Bomber On Clinton Foundation Payroll" (archived here) which opened:

New evidence has arisen in the Austin Bomber case that points to the stories about his conservative past being a lie. A friend of a woman whose husband works with the bomber's father says that the entire family is a plant:

"Everything about them is fake. We got their mail once and it was addressed to 'Lucius Goldstein.' I think they're plants. The letter was from Clinton Shipping, whatever that is."

The link to the supposed evidence goes to a Google search for the word "Derp", an exclamation associated with stupidity. It also claims the bomber's family matches the description of "a New York jeweler who turned state's evidence against the Gambinacci crime family" but there is no record of such crime family existing. Another link in the article that claims the familiy "packed up and moved" actually points to a Google search for the word "dumbass".

The site comes with a clear satire disclaimer at the bottom of each article:

sat·ire ~ˈsaˌtī(ə)r
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.
If you disagree with the definition of satire or have decided it is synonymous with "comedy," you should really just move along.

The owner and main writer of the site is self-professed liberal troll Christopher Blair, a man from Maine who has made it his full time job to troll gullible conservatives and Trump supporters into liking and sharing his articles. He runs several other websites such as ladiesofliberty.net, shareotonin.com and dailyworldupdate.com. Sometimes he is also known under his nickname "Busta Troll". He has at least one accomplice who writes under the pen names "Freedom", "Captain Jellypants", "Butch Mannington" or "Captain Buck Atlantis".

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 and he keeps knocking them down.

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.

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  Maarten Schenk

Maarten Schenk is the co-founder and COO/CTO of Lead Stories and an 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.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk

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