At Tuesday's White House briefing, press secretary Sean Spicer made a very bad comparison between Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad and Adolf Hitler:
Spicer's gaffes opened the floodgates for fake news publishers, who immediately pumped out hoaxes about the press secretary. The first was a fake apology that appeared on a now-deleted Facebook page purporting to belong to Spicer:
Longtime fake news site Newslo also published fake quotes from Spicer. Its story included Spicer's real comments and then added a bunch of over-the-top fabrications, such as the one in the headline:
The Newslo Facebook page has over 220,000 fans. Its post with the Spicer story has over 200 shares as of now, and almost all of the comments are from people who think it's real.
But just to make things even more confusing, USPoln also sometimes publishes completely real news stories. That's what it did this time, running a story with Spicer's real comments and no fabrications.
Craig Silverman is a media editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Toronto.
Contact Craig Silverman at email@example.com.
Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.