Two of my cousins are no longer my friends on Facebook. Both voted for Trump, which was their right and not why I cut them off. What pushed me to cut ties with them was their sharing of blatantly fake news on social media — and the nasty glee with which they spread damned lies.
They shared many such phony posts during the cursed campaign between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, but one proved the final straw for me: “BREAKING: ‘Tens of thousands’ of fraudulent Clinton votes found in Ohio warehouse.”
The “story” — and the phony photo that accompanied it — slithered perfectly alongside Trump’s vaporous claims of a “rigged election,” and it was eventually shared by 6 million people on social media, including my cousins.
Thanks to an actual reporter working for a real newspaper, we now know that the story was fabricated by a 23-year-old recent college graduate in Annapolis, Maryland.
New York Times reporter Scott Shane tracked down Cameron Harris, who admitted to making the story up from whole cloth at his kitchen table. He said it took him about 15 minutes. Introduced on his website, ChristianTimesNewspaper.com, Mr. Harris’ lie earned him $22,000 and is still circulating around the globe.
Read Scott Shane’s actual, factual news story here.
Odds are some of you reading this helped spread Cameron Harris’ lie as well as others with the headlines: “Hillary Clinton Blames Racism for Cincinnati Gorilla’s Death,” “Protesters Beat Homeless Veteran to Death in Philadelphia” and “NYPD Looking to Press Charges Against Bill Clinton for Underage Sex Ring.”
All fake. All lies. All treated as gospel truth by some of you, which begs a few questions:
Are you embarrassed to be so easily duped?
Are you ashamed of spreading lies?
Do you even give a damn that you played an enthusiastic part in duping millions of others?
I’d ask these questions of my estranged cousins, but we don’t talk anymore.