Fact Check: Biden Does NOT Plan To Move Social Security Eligibility Age to 75

Hoax Alert

  • by: Sarah Thompson
Fact Check: Biden Does NOT Plan To Move Social Security Eligibility Age to 75 Trolling

Does Joe Biden plan to move Social Security eligibility age to 75? No, that's not true: This story was originally published as satire by a network that trolls conservatives with false claims about liberals and Democrats. The content is often stolen by other websites and republished without satire-labeling as click bait. There is no plan by Biden, the Democrats' presumptive 2020 presidential nominee, to change the retirement age from 65 to 75.

The claim originated in an article published by bustatroll.org on May 15, 2020 titled "Biden Plans to Move Social Security Eligibility Age to 75" (archived here) which opened:

It's unknown why Democrats hate our senior citizens so much. After all, they are the greatest generation that built this country into the earthly paradise that it is today, with all the freedoms and benefits that every citizen now enjoys such as paid leave and healthcare.

The latest evidence of this comes from their proposal to "reform Social Security," as they put it. However, simple reform is deceiving when describing what they propose to do. They don't want to change the way we manage the funds or how they are delivered. Democrats just want to screw senior citizens and delay their retirement years and not just buy a couple of years either. No, the new policy is proposing to raise eligibility for Social Security by a decade, from the present 65 years old, to a whopping 75 years old.

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:

Biden Plans to Move Social Security Eligibility Age to 75

The age for elibgibility for Social Security retirement benefits has been raised in past years, but there is no current proposal by the Democrats to hike it again. AARP -- the American Associated of Retired People -- outlines the current retirement requirements on its website:

While you can start collecting retirement benefits at age 62, your payments are reduced if you claim them before reaching full retirement age. The full retirement age was 65 for many years, but it is currently 66 and is gradually going up to 67. If you file for Social Security at full retirement age, you qualify for 100 percent of the benefit calculated from your lifetime earnings. You can further increase your retirement benefit by filing as late as age 70.

The site that published this satire 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. He runs several websites and Facebook pages with visible satire disclaimers everywhere. They mostly publish made-up stories with headlines specifically created to trigger Republicans, conservatives and evangelical Christians into angrily sharing or commenting on the story on Facebook without actually reading the full article, exposing them to mockery and ridicule by fans of the sites and pages.

Every site in the network has an about page that reads (in part):

About Satire
Before you complain and decide satire is synonymous with "comedy":

sat·ire
ˈsaˌtī(ə)r
noun
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 omit the satire disclaimer and other hints the stories are fake. One of the most persistent networks of such sites is run by a man from Pakistan named Kashif Shahzad Khokhar (aka "DashiKashi") who has spammed hundreds of such stolen stories into conservative and right-wing Facebook pages in order to profit from the ad revenue.

When fact checkers point this out to the people liking and sharing these copycat stories some of them get mad at the fact checkers instead of directing their anger at the foreign spammers or the liberal satire writers. Others send a polite "thank you" note, which is much appreciated.

NewsGuard, a company that uses trained journalist to rank the reliability of websites, describes bustatroll.org as:

One in a network of sites that publish false stories and hoaxes that are often mistaken for real news, 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.

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  Sarah Thompson

Sarah Thompson lives with her family and pets on a small farm in Southeastern Indiana. She founded a Facebook page and a blog called “Exploiting the Niche” in 2017 to help others learn about manipulative tactics and avoid scams on social media. Since then she has collaborated with journalists in the USA, Canada and Australia and since December 2019 she works as a Social Media Authenticity Analyst at Lead Stories.


 

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