STORY UPDATED: check for updates below.
Is M'nakta N'tadaku Johnson the biological father of the Obama girls and is he suing Michelle for $40 million? No, that's not true: the man doesn't even exist. The story was published by a liberal satire website that tries to fool 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 and presented as real news there. The people liking and sharing these stories are enriching foreign website operators (or a liberal from Maine) via the ad revenue generated which is probably not what they expected or wanted.
The story originated from an article published by Obama Watcher on July 8, 2019 titled "Sasha and Malia Obama's Biological Father Suing Michelle for $40 Million" (archived here) which opened:
M'nakta N'tadaku Johnson, of the Sudanese Johnsons, has announced that he's suing the Obama family for $40 million for "excluding him from the lives of his children under Musammical law." His lawsuit states that as the only known biological parent of the two girls, he is entitled to compensation for being withheld from their lives.
The suit comes just after Sasha turned 18, assuring that the case would be heard in a federal court in Sudan rather than a probate court in Washington, DC. According to Johnson's attorney, Art Tubolls:
"Mr. Johnson will be happy to meet the Obamas at the 304th US District Court at the Embassy in Sudan. We have filed to be heard on one of the four days of the month the court is in session to decide US-based matters. The Obamas can either take a nice trip to Africa or they can pay the settlement amount of $40 million. It's their choice."
Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:
Sasha and Malia Obama's Biological Father Suing Michelle for $40 Million
We've always known they weren't really Barack's.
There is no such thing as "Musammical" law, the 304th District Court does not exist and the website of the U.S. embassy in Sudan does not contain any info on the supposed District Court the story claims to hold sessions there. The story was originally published under the category "Obama Sisters Fan Fiction" and "Art Tubolls" is an anagram for "Busta Troll", the nickname of the founder of the site. And the picture of the "dad" is actually Aliko Dangote from Nigeria:
Aliko Dangote - Wikipedia
Aliko Dangote GCON (born 10 April 1957) is a Nigerian business magnate, investor, and owner of the Dangote Group, which has interests in commodities in Nigeria and other African countries. As of March 2019, he had an estimated net worth of US$ 10.6 billion.
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):
Before you complain and decide satire is synonymous with "comedy":
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 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.
NewsGuard, a company that uses trained journalist to rank the reliability of websites, describes obamawatcher.com 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.
2019-07-22T09:32:21Z 2019-07-22T09:32:21ZAdded info about Aliko Dangote