Fake News: GoFundme Wall Donations NOT To Be Diverted to Climate Change Programs

Fact Check

  • by: Maarten Schenk
Fake News: GoFundme Wall Donations NOT To Be Diverted to Climate Change Programs

Will all the donations made to the GoFundMe campaign to build a wall on the Southern border of the United States get redirected to climate change programs? No, that's not true. The story was published by a liberal satire website that tries to educate gullible Trump supporters and Republicans about the need to actually click and read links before sharing or liking them in order to avoid being mocked by fans of the site later. The part of the article about the donations being repurposed is not real.

The story originated from an article published by Be Best Website on December 20, 2018 titled "GoFundme Wall Donations to be Diverted to Climate Change Programs" (archived here) which opened:

The internet has been alight lately with private donors using fundraising site GoFundme among others, to raise money to build the wall on the southern border. Millions of dollars have been raised, despite the Department of Homeland Security rejecting them, since federal agencies are forbidden from receiving private donations. So where does all this money go?

That question was answered this morning by Federal Manager of Gullible Simpletons Richard Rekker.

"Since apparently, these dummies are more than eager to give their money away, I say why not use it to fight something actually threatening, like climate change, instead of encouraging these jackasses to believe we can wall off the lower part of the country."

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail so it would not have been immediately clear the story was just a joke:

GoFundme Wall Donations to be Diverted to Climate Change Programs

The internet has been alight lately with private donors using fundraising site GoFundme among others, to raise money to build the wall on the southern border. Millions of dollars have been raised,...

However there definitely is no "Federal Manager of Gullible Simpletons Richard Rekker" and the site has an obvious hint in the header that reads "Information you probably shouldn't trust to be best". On top of that there is also the category the article was posted under: "XENOPHOBIC SATIRE FOR GERIATRIC TATERS".

If all that wasn't enough 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 story was mocking the current GoFundMe campaign set up by Brian Kolfage to fund a border wall with private donations:

Click here to support We The People Will Fund The Wall organized by The Wall Fundraising Team

My name is Brian Kolfage, I have a verified blue check facebook page as a public figure and I'm a Purple Heart Recipient triple amputee veteran. * Please read entire statement before emailing questions * Any questions about this message & Follow me on my facebook or email me at Bkolfage@gmail....

That campaign has raised over $8 million in three days and has been shared almost a million times on Facebook. It is currently 0.8% of the way to its stated goal of collecting one billion dollars even though many price estimates for a border wall are well above that amount.

The owner and main writer of the site posting the hoax about the money being diverted 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, including potatriotpost.us, dailyworldupdate.us and nofakenewsonline.us. Sometimes he is also known under his nickname "Busta Troll". A second man working on the sites is John Prager as revealed in this earlier story we wrote.

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.

Blair and his operation were profiled by the Washington Post on November 17, 2018 by Eli Saslow:

'Nothing on this page is real': How lies become truth in online America

November 17 The only light in the house came from the glow of three computer monitors, and Christopher Blair, 46, sat down at a keyboard and started to type. His wife had left for work and his children were on their way to school, but waiting online was his other community, an unreality where nothing was exactly as it seemed.

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.

NewsGuard, a company that uses trained journalist to rank the reliability of websites, describes bebest.website 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 bebest.website before, here are our most recent articles that mention the site:

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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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