Did Alabama become the first state to ban "radical islam"? No, that's not true. The story was published by a liberal satire website that tries to mislead 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.
Alabama has once again gone where no state has gone before: They've banned "radical Islam." According to lawmakers in Montgomery, the practice is simply not welcome there:
"The radical Islamatists are not our friends, and we don't support their ways. The great state of Alabama wants you to know that if you have pledged your loyalties to some extremist group that wants to kill Americans, you are not welcome here."
The law came to be when Republican Senator Art Tubolls found no mention of a ban on the practices of radical Islamitites on the books in Alabama. He immediately ordered his staff to draw a bill making the practice of conspiring to do Americans harm illegal. "They certainly rose to the test," Tubolls said, "They left no stone unturned."
The story was literally posted in a category named "Satire for Islamaphobes" and there are several satire warnings and disclaimers prominently visible on the page. In addition to that deliberate misspelling like "Islamatists" and "Islamitites" should be a dead giveaway that the article is not real news. The senator "Art Tubolls" that is mentioned in the article also does not exist in real life. The name is an anagram for "BustaTroll" which is the nickname of the owner of the website.
It 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 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:
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 bustatroll.org 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 bustatroll.org before, here are our most recent articles that mention the site:
- Fake News: Nancy Pelosi NOT Asked To Leave Children's Benefit After Drunken Outburst
- Fake News: Chris Wallace NOT Fired By Fox News; Did NOT Say 'We Can't Let Him Spread Lies Anymore'
- Fake News: Ilhan Omar's Children NOT Arrested For Starting Church Fire
- Fake News: Nancy Pelosi Did NOT Approve $1 Million Expense Accounts For Any Rep That Votes For Impeachment
- Fake News: LeBron Did NOT Tell NBA To "Dump The Anthem Or I'll Quit"