A hoax about President Donald Trump removing "Islamic symbols" from the White House has gone massively viral thanks to the unlikely combination of a blogger based in London, pro-Trump sites in Macedonia, Nigerian news sites, and an elaborate liberal trolling operation aimed at US conservatives.
Here's what happened.
On Jan. 23, TheRepublicanNews.net published a completely false story claiming Trump ordered staff to remove Obama's "Islamic symbols" from the White House. It quickly generated close to 700,000 shares, reactions, and comments on Facebook, according to BuzzSumo.
The thing about this particular piece of fake news is that it originally appeared online Dec. 4 on a site called The Resistance: The Last Line of Defense. In fact, Offor's site copied the text word for word.
OK, so as of now we have a completely false story rocketing around Facebook and the web largely because a part-time Nigerian blogger in London decided to copy and paste it months after it was first published.
But that's nowhere close to the craziest part of this story.