Fact Check: Chelsea Clinton NOT Ranked World's 18th Richest Woman

Fact Check

  • by: Maarten Schenk
Fact Check: Chelsea Clinton NOT Ranked World's 18th Richest Woman Liberal Satire

Was Chelsea Clinton ranked the world's 18th richest woman? 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.

The claim first appeared in an article published by liberal satire website Potatriots Unite on May 6, 2020 titled "Chelsea Clinton Ranked World's 18th Richest Woman" (archived here) which opened:

Chelsea Clinton. Children's book author, global health initiative spokesperson, former news correspondent, executive serving on numerous corporate boards including the Clinton Foundation. Now, her list of accolades can include jet-setting billionaire, as Forbes magazine has recently named her the 18th richest woman on the planet. Assuming the planet was an alternate Earth.

According to several experts wearing ties and carrying briefcases in my imagination, the youngest Clinton has parlayed her savings into a number of profitable investments including organic apple-marijuana farming, a frozen line of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and ownership of a company responsible for building complex Christian-head-cutter-offer machines for Fema when the time comes. Her instincts are legendary.

Mother of three children by her investment banker husband who, despite the feverish oxycontin fantasies of the tragically teabagged, is in no way related to George Soros, the businesswoman is also a frequent contributor to news magazines such as Time, Newsweek, and Highlights, and has won several prestigious awards for her work. Meanwhile, White House aides pat President Trump gently on the top of his head anytime he correctly pronounces his son Barron's name.

The story was published under a category named "Satire and/or Conservative Fan Fiction" on a page with several satire labels and disclaimers. However within days the story was copied by foreign-operated fake news sites that posted it into various Facebook groups as real news.

The site that orignally published the story 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":

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 potatriotsunite.com 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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  Maarten Schenk

Maarten Schenk is the co-founder and COO/CTO of Lead Stories and an expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk

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