Last Line of Defense

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The Last Line of Defense (full name: America’s Last Line of Defense, formerly The Resistance: The Last Line of Defense until 21 March 2017[1]) is a hybrid American satirical/fake news website, although your perception may depend on how much you know about the website. According to a combination of sources, America’s Last Line of Defense was founded by Christopher Blair around February 2016.[2][3][4]

Description[edit]

The “official” description claims that the Last Line of Defense website was created by “God-fearing Christian conservative patriots” who were “tired of Obama’s tyrannical reign”.[5]

According to Christopher Blair for PunditFact, he designed the Last Line of Defense to “fool conservatives with fake stories most people would find absurd”:[2] the disclaimer on Last Line of Defense itself (as of 30 May 2017), described themselves as a satirical website that self-described liberal supporters created to expose the “extreme bigotry and hate” and “blind gullibility” of right-wing activists, particularly conspiracy theorists.[5] Media Bias/Fact Check classifies the Last Line of Defense as ‘Satire’ because of the disclaimer.[6]

According to the UK-based That’s Nonsense fact checking website, most of the fake/spoof stories on the Last Line of Defense deliberately “attack” liberal beliefs, including the Democrat Party of the United States, in an attempt to trick right-wing readers into believing and sharing them.[3] Fake/spoof authors on the Last Line of Defense include “Stryker” (Striker) and “Busta Troll” (Bust a Troll).[2]

Examples of headlines[edit]

Sampled on 8 June 2017[7]
  • “BREAKING: Trump Fires Jeff Sessions For Connection To Espionage”
  • “Feds Set To Charge Cory Booker With International Crimes Against Humanity”
  • “BREAKING: Supreme Court Rules On Travel Ban”
  • “Trump Just Raided HIS OWN EPA And Proved Hes The Smartest President Of All Time”
  • “Monica Lewinski Death Hoax Was A Very Small Part Of A Globalist Agenda”

Reception and response[edit]

Generally, many of the Last Line of Defense’s fabricated articles appear so realistic that people from all corners of political spectrum have unwittingly fallen for the fabricated stories, without considering the Last Line of Defense’s claimed satirical purpose. By the end of May 2017, Snopes had debunked at least 34 articles that involved the Last Line of Defense.[8][9]

In response to the concerns, the Last Line of Defense gradually introduced further measures to clarify their true purpose, including adding an ESRBWikipedia's W.svg-like “Satire” icon at the footer.[7]

However, a number of fact checking sites have recently taken a tougher line against the Last Line of Defense. Since 9 January 2018, Snopes accused the website of spreading fabricated articles “under the guise of dealing with satire”.[10][11] According to That’s Nonsense on 21 March 2017, the Last Line of Defense is well-known to the the fact-checking media, because many of its fake/spoof stories go viral on social media.[3]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. "Summary of thelastlineofdefense.org". Internet Archive (The Wayback Machine). https://web.archive.org/web/*/http://thelastlineofdefense.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/cropped-llod-site-header-2.jpg. Retrieved 8 June 2017. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Gillin, Joshua (31 May 2017). "If you're fooled by fake news, this man probably wrote it". PunditFact (Tampa Bay Times). http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/article/2017/may/31/If-youre-fooled-by-fake-news-this-man-probably-wro/. Retrieved 8 June 2017. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Charles, Craig (21 March 2017). "TheLastLineOfDefense.org is a spoof political website". That’s Nonsense. http://www.thatsnonsense.com/thelastlineofdefense-org-spoof-political-website/. Retrieved 8 June 2017. 
  4. "The Resistance: The Last Line of Defense". America's Last Line of Defense. https://web.archive.org/web/20160211071511/http://thelastlineofdefense.org:80/. Retrieved 11 February 2016. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 "About Us". America's Last Line of Defense. https://web.archive.org/web/20170530171515/http://thelastlineofdefense.org/about-us/. Retrieved 30 May 2017. 
  6. "The Resistance: The Last Line of Defense". Media Bias/Fact Check. https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/the-resistance-the-last-line-of-defense/. Retrieved 8 June 2017. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 "America's Last Line of Defense". America's Last Line of Defense. https://web.archive.org/web/20170608090617/http://thelastlineofdefense.org/. Retrieved 8 June 2017. 
  8. "Articles tagged ‘The Last Line of Defense’". Snopes. http://www.snopes.com/tag/the-last-line-of-defense/. Retrieved 8 June 2017. 
  9. "Articles tagged ‘Last Line of Defense’". Snopes. http://www.snopes.com/tag/last-line-of-defense/. Retrieved 8 June 2017. 
  10. Mikkelson, David (9 January 2018). "Police Don't Find Fake Democratic Congressman’s Non-Existent Meth Lab". Snopes. https://www.snopes.com/tennessee-rep-meth-lab/. Retrieved 22 January 2018. 
  11. "Articles tagged ‘Last Line of Defense’". Snopes. http://www.snopes.com/tag/last-line-of-defense/. Retrieved 8 June 2017.