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A tasteless hoax on several blogs says the 8-year-old son of U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., was found dead in a garbage bin in Washington.
DailyUSAUpdate.com, a known purveyor of bogus news stories, posted a story on May 20, 2017, with the headline, "Worse than Hitler! Trey Gowdy’s son found in a Dumpster in D.C.! Murders are being questioned!"
Facebook users flagged the story as being potentially fake as part of the social media site’s efforts to combat fake news.
The fake article said that Terrence Vaughan Martin Gowdy was found dead in a Washington dumpster.
Rife with misspellings and grammatical errors, the post said the boy had disappeared from the Capitol building and was found in the trash receptacle at a Trump-owned hotel, possibly in an attempt to frame the president. It said two suspects named Hamil Lalahafa and Sanjay Gemtrapa were being questioned.
There was no contact information listed on DailyUSAUpdate.com. The fabrication has been published in various forms on other websites, too. None of them seem very concerned with the fact that Gowdy’s two children are named Abigail and Watson. There also are no mainstream news accounts of anything happening to the chairman of the House Benghazi committee’s kids.
The story first appeared May 20 on TheLastLineOfDefense.org, a well-known purveyor of fabricated news stories. The site’s goal is to goad conservative readers into believing fake posts in an attempt to illustrate their gullibility.
"We present fiction as fact and our sources don’t actually exist," the site’s About Us disclaimer reads. "Names that represent actual people and places are purely coincidental and all images should be considered altered and do not in any way depict reality."
There’s no evidence that anything actually happened to Gowdy’s real children, so that’s a plus. This story, however, is another creation of the fake news cycle.
We rate it Pants On Fire!
DailyUSAUpdate.com, "WORSE THAN HITLER! Trey Gowdy’s Son Found In A Dumpster In DC! Murders Are Being Questioned!," May 20, 2017
TheLastLineOfDefense.org, "BREAKING: Trey Gowdy’s Son Found In A Dumpster In DC," May 20, 2017
U.S. News & World Report, "10 Things You Didn't Know About Trey Gowdy," March 31, 2017
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