Fake News: Statue Of Liberty NOT Converted Into Prison For Immigrant Children

Hoax Alert

  • by: Maarten Schenk
Fake News: Statue Of Liberty NOT Converted Into Prison For Immigrant Children

Was the iconic Statue of Liberty in New York converted to a prison for immgrant children? No, that's not true: the story was invented by a satirical website as a criticism of the policy of separately locking up the children of families who crossed the U.S. border illegally and then applied for asylum afterwards. The Statue of Liberty part is not true, the rest is real.

The story originated from an article published on June 19, 2018 titled "Statue Of Liberty Converted Into Prison For Immigrant Children" (archived here) which opened:

QUICK THINKING US Government officials have found a solution to the growing problem of finding somewhere to intern immigrant children who have been purposefully separated from their parents by US border officials, WWN can reveal.

The Statue of Liberty, a New York tourist attraction which has no larger symbolic significance to the history of immigration in America will be hastily converted into a prison for children who crossed the border into the country illegally.

"It's a tall, imposing and iconic structure and this great country of ours has not used it properly in the past. Some say it looks too welcoming, too hopeful and we need to change that, with a little upgrade and additional barbed wire how many kids could you stuff in that thing, thousands?" one Trump administration official enthusiastically stated.

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

Statue Of Liberty Converted Into Prison For Immigrant Children

QUICK THINKING US Government officials have found a solution to the growing problem of finding somewhere to intern immigrant children who have been purposefully separated from their parents by US border officials, WWN can reveal. The ...

The detaining of children part is real:

Kids separated at border spend 22 hours a day locked in former Walmart

Casa Padre is the same facility Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., was turned away from this month after arriving unannounced and seeking entry to inspect conditions. In the reception area, a note to staffers tells them to "Immediately notify PD," or program director, if media representatives approach.

The rest is satire: the site Whaterford Whispers News has a disclaimer page which reads:

Disclaimer
Waterford Whispers News is a fabricated satirical newspaper and comedy website published by Waterford Whispers News.

Waterford Whispers News uses invented names in all its stories, except in cases when public figures are being satirized. Any other use of real names is accidental and coincidental.

For that reason alone you should probably never believe anything they publish.

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

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  Maarten Schenk

Lead Stories co-founder 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

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