Fact Check: 163 Paid Protesters Did NOT File A Lawsuit Against George Soros For 'Not Paying Their Bail'

Fact Check

  • by: Lead Stories Staff
Fact Check: 163 Paid Protesters Did NOT File A Lawsuit Against George Soros For 'Not Paying Their Bail' Trolling

Did 163 paid protesters file a lawsuit against George Soros when he backed out of a commitment to pay their bail? No, that's not true: This is a fictional article published by a known satire website that mostly writes content about Democrats to trick Trump supporters into believing and sharing the articles, thereby creating advertising revenue for the satire site.

The claim originated from an article published by tatersgonnatate.com on June 3, 2020, titled "163 Paid Protesters Just Filed A Lawsuit Against George Soros For Not Paying Their Bail" (archived here). It opened:

163 paid protesters have filed a lawsuit against none other than George Soros for screwing them out of bail money. According to the ad Soros placed on Craigslist, protesters would be fully compensated for all of their time and expenses. They found out that the money dried up the moment they got arrested.

Users on social media saw this title, description and thumbnail: 163 Paid Protesters Just Filed A Lawsuit Against George Soros For Not Paying Their Bail

"They were paid for 6 hours at $30 per hour, plus a meal stipend of $40 per day."

Posted by America - Love It Or Leave It on Thursday, June 11, 2020

George Soros is a billionaire philanthropist known for his contributions to organizations that further democracy and ensure human rights. In light of recent protests in the U.S. sparked by the death of George Floyd, Soros has once again become the target of far-right conspiracy theories. In the past, he was accused of funding the 2017 Women's March and a rally against gun violence.

By implicating Soros in the new wave of protests, this satirical article is exacerbating the pre-existing beliefs that he secretly funds liberal-driven protests. There is no evidence substantiating any of these claims.

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. 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.

NewsGuard, a company that uses trained journalist to rank the reliability of websites, describes tatersgonnatate.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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Lead Stories is a fact checking website that is always looking for the latest false, misleading, deceptive or inaccurate stories, videos or images going viral on the internet.
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