Did the Trump administration start deportating proceedings against Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ihlan Omar? No, that's not true. 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. The people liking and sharing these stories are enriching foreign website operators (or a liberal from Maine) via the ad revenue generated with the content which is probably not what they expected or wanted.
The story originated from an article published by Taters Gonna Tage on July 15, 2019 titled "Trump Administration Starts Deportation Proceedings Against AOC and Omar" (archived here) which opened:
President Trump isn't messing around with these "Congresswomen" who were illegally elected to serve the people who voted for them. They have gone way too far lately with their criticism of the administration, and according to White House Counsel, Rudy Giuliani, have overstayed their welcome:
"Alexandria al Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar are not from America. Their insolent tone and disrespect has put them in direct violation of the executive order signed by President Trump on January 22nd, 2017, which says that disrespect for the office is grounds for treason and/or removal from the country."
These women are lucky to be here at all. Ilhan Omar will be returned to Sudan, where she'll probably need to buy a ticket to where her family is actually from, while AOC will be sent to the Dominican Republic, since all flights to Puerto Rico are booked through October.
Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:
Trump Administration Starts Deportation Proceedings Against AOC and Omar
It's time to make good on the promises.
The story was posted in the category "Satire and/or Conservative Fan Fiction" and if you check the Federal Register you can see Trump did not sign any Executive orders on January 22, 2017. And of course deporting U.S. citizens is not something that is legal or feasible.
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 a BBC 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 tatersgonnatate.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.
We wrote about tatersgonnatate.com before, here are our most recent articles that mention the site:
- Fake News: David Hogg, Protest Group NOT Blocking Washington Parade
- Fake News: President Trump Did NOT Say "I Will Pay For July 4 Parade Out Of My Own Pocket"
- Fake News: NO New Dem Bill To Limit Firearm Ownership to One Per Household
- Fake News: Panel of 16 Judges Did NOT Agree Barr Has Enough to Indict Clinton and Obama
- Fake News: 243 Angry Passengers NOT Grounded In Iowa After Nancy Pelosi's Drunken Rampage