Did former President Barack Obama call a meeting of the UN Security council without inviting U.S. officials? 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, which happened almost immediately with this one, too. 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 United Nations held a secret meeting of the Security Council today called by former US President Barack Obama. The council, which is bound by law and treaty to meet only with official members of the US Government, released a statement:
"The Security Committee met today with our old friend Barack for falafel and beers. It was not an official meeting. There was nothing recorded and no official business discussed. We asked him here because we -- quite frankly -- miss intelligent conversation with American statesman. It's been a while."
The meeting may not have been "official," but our source on the inside says they are definitely discussing official business.
Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:
The truth is right there in front of you.
The story was originally published in a category named "Spooky Deep State Fan Fiction", and the words "source on the inside" linked to a picture of Barron Trump named "Barron-Has-a-Good-Day-Whatever.jpg". The picture of the supposed Security Council meeting was actually taken at a climate conference in 2009:
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (blue) and Indian Minister of Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh (behind) during a multilateral meeting with U. S. President Barack Obama, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, Brazilian President Lula da Silva and South African President Jacob Zuma during the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, Dec.
The site is part of the "America's Last Line of Defense" network of satire websites run by self-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 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 that 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 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.
We wrote about obamawatcher.com before. Here are our most recent articles that mention the site:
- Fake News: Obama Did NOT Respond To Report: 'Barr Is Trump's Lap Dog. He Lies For Him'
- Fake News: Campus Young Republican Club Did NOT Topple Obama Statue
- Fake News: Obama Did NOT Say "He's Low Risk", Did NOT Free ISIS Leader Al Baghdadi
- Fake News: Obama Did NOT Tweet Al Baghdadi Was A Great Man, An Innocent Man & My Friend
- Fake News: Michelle Obama NOT To Be New Face of Victoria's Secret