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Logo for the Denver Guardian

The Denver Guardian was a fake news website, known for a popular untrue story about Hillary Clinton posted on the site on November 5, 2016,[1] three days before the 2016 U.S. presidential election, which Clinton lost.[2] The story, entitled "FBI Agent Suspected In Hillary Email Leaks Found Dead In Apparent Murder-Suicide", alleged that an FBI agent investigating Clinton had been found dead in a Maryland house fire.[3] The story was shared on Facebook (a news source for "44 percent of U.S. adults")[4][5] more than half a million times and earned more than 15.5 million impressions.[4][6] According to a Denver Post newspaper story on the Denver Guardian and the Clinton article,

  • while "The Guardian" claimed to be Denver's "oldest" news source, the site's domain was first registered only a few months before in July 2016;[7]
  • the story on Clinton appeared to be the only article on the website (it was "the only story showing up under the "News" section and all other sections are turning up errors");[7]
  • while the story quoted a "Walkerville Police Chief Pat Frederick", Walkerville, Maryland, does not have a police department; but have Five Resident State Police officers [7] Walkersville Maryland is in Frederick County , near Frederick, MD and
  • the address the site listed for "The Guardian" newsroom was actually a parking lot.[8][7]

The site was registered anonymously and built using WordPress, but an investigator employed by National Public Radio found the site was operated by Jestin Coler, the founder, and CEO of Disinfomedia and owner of several other faux news sites.[6] As of March 27, 2017, the site still existed but had no news or any other content. As of January 28, 2018, the site does not exist anymore. When typing the address into a browser, it redirects to "jestincoler.com", a website owned by Coler himself, containing information about his himself, his work, his 'achievements', and how to contact him. He openly admits doing morally questionable, but legal things, such as writing and publishing fake news articles for payment.

See alsoEdit

  • Baltimore Gazette – a defunct newspaper, the name of which has been reused by a fake news website

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "FBI AGENT SUSPECTED IN HILLARY EMAIL LEAKS FOUND DEAD IN APPARENT MURDER-SUICIDE". Denver Guardian. 2016-11-05. Archived from the original on 2016-11-15.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  2. ^ Romano, Aja (2016-11-16). "The scariest part of Facebook's fake news problem: fake news is more viral than real news". Vox.
  3. ^ Rogers, Katie; Bromwich, Jonah Engel (2016-11-08). "The Hoaxes, Fake News and Misinformation We Saw on Election Day". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-03-27.
  4. ^ a b Grenoble, Ryan (2016-11-16). "Here Are Some Of Those Fake News Stories That Mark Zuckerberg Isn't Worried About". Huffington Post. Retrieved 28 March 2017.
  5. ^ Gottfried, Jeffrey; Shearer, Elisa (2016-05-26). "News Use Across Social Media Platforms 2016". Pew Research Center's Journalism Project. Retrieved 2017-03-28.
  6. ^ a b Sydell, Laura (2016-11-23). "We Tracked Down A Fake-News Creator In The Suburbs. Here's What We Learned". NPR.
  7. ^ a b c d Lubbers, Eric (2016-11-05). "There is no such thing as the Denver Guardian, despite that Facebook post you saw". Denver Post.
  8. ^ Mikkelson, David (2016-11-11). "Pardon for the Course". Snopes.