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A fake news post falsely said former first daughter Malia Obama was arrested with a group of seven men after a day of drinking, drugs and dog-fighting.
The headline on a May 6, 2017, post on ConservativeFlashNews.com read, "Malia Obama arrested with a gang of thugs in Chicago." The post was flagged by Facebook users as part of the social media site’s efforts to cut down on fake news in users’ feeds.
The post said Obama and the men were at an unnamed park in Chicago, and were charged with wanton endangerment of animals, public intoxication and possession of a controlled substance. Obama had been forbidden by her famous parents from going to any such party, the story said, but disappeared before turning up at the police station.
TheLastLineOfDefense.org publishes bogus posts keyed to topics designed to troll conservatives. The site’s creator, a man who said his name is Zeke Wilekenmeyer, has told PolitiFact he deliberately tried to get gullible readers to share his stories to prove those readers don’t rely on facts.
The articles quite often end up being passed around on multiple websites, often without an indication that they are fake -- this Malia Obama post is just the latest example.
A previous story from TheLastLineOfDefense.org said Malia Obama had been expelled from Harvard University for smoking marijuana in Boston, despite the fact that she hadn’t even been enrolled at the school.
As for the fake accomplices pictured in the story, the image is taken from a series of mugshots showing a group of eight men arrested in Florence County, S.C., in 2013 for running a dogfighting ring. Malia’s image was inserted to suggest she’d been partying with the other seven.
But that’s not the case. As far as we know, the 18-year-old is still enjoying her gap year before enrolling at Harvard this fall.
We rate this statement Pants On Fire!
ConservativeFlashNews.com, "BREAKING: Malia Obama Arrested With A Gang Of Thugs In Chicago," May 6, 2017
TheLastLineOfDefense.org, "BREAKING: Malia Obama Arrested With A Gang Of Thugs In Chicago," May 5, 2017
WMBFNews.com, "FCSO arrest 8 in connection to alleged dog fighting ring," Oct. 13, 2013
CNN, "Malia Obama to attend Harvard after gap year," May 3, 2016
PolitiFact.com, "Fake story wrong about Malia Obama being expelled from Harvard for marijuana use," April 19, 2017
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