Some clickbait is harder to kill than a vampire.
Recently, as part of Facebook’s efforts to fight fake news, we learned that users had flagged as potentially fabricated a post about a claim purportedly by former Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn.
Prior to her retirement after the 2014 midterm elections, Bachmann, a social conservative, was known for making controversial statements. So it may not come as a surprise that, more than two years after her retirement, she’s still being used by clickbait purveyors, banking on the anger of liberal social media users.
The article noted by Facebook users, from the site USPOLN.com, is headlined, "Bachmann: ‘White People Have Suffered More In The Last 8 Years Than Blacks Did During Couple Years Of Slavery.’ "
Oddly, the words that the headline attributes in quotation marks to Bachmann do not appear in the subsequent article. But the "quotes" provided discuss similar themes.
The article quotes Bachmann as saying, "I don’t think all of the suffering of African-Americans during the period of slavery can ever equate to what’s been done to white conservative Americans in the past eight years of Obama’s presidency. Because, let’s face it, during that time, we’ve had the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize same-sex marriage, we’ve had countless terrorist attacks, we’ve had many racial killings and crimes and we’ve had several small-scale revolutions in some of America’s major cities. Is that the legacy President Obama wants to be remembered by? Does he really want to go down in history as the man who created a gap between black people and white people? Judging by his actions during his presidency, I’m guessing he does."
Before we go any further, it would be an opportune time to note that USPOLN.com is, as we have noted previously, contains a disclaimer in the "about us" tab that reads, "USPOLN may include information from sources that may or may not be reliable and facts that don’t necessarily exist. These articles should be considered satirical and any and all quotes attributed to actual people complete and total baloney."
In other words, not a word of this "story" should be believed.
However, this isn’t just fake news. It’s old fake news. (Perhaps the focus on Obama should have been a clue to its timing -- he’s been out of office for six months now.)
We found that an essentially identical article appeared as early as Aug. 23, 2016, on the website Newslo, which bills itself as a mix of true and fake news. With the click of a button, you can see what’s real and what’s fake.
If you click on the button, the part about Bachmann’s comments on slavery falls into the "fake" category.
Moral of the story: Liberal dislike of Bachmann has survived her retirement so strongly that it is able to carry multiple iterations of clickbait.
The website USPOLN.com said in a post that Bachmann had said, "White People Have Suffered More In The Last 8 Years Than Blacks Did During Couple Years Of Slavery." Not only is USPOLN.com an acknowledged "satirical" site, but the post originated in August 2016 on another acknowledged purveyor of articles that it admits are partially fake. We rate the item Pants on Fire.