Paul Horner is the name of a man getting plenty of buzz lately, all due to the amount of money that Horner told the Washington Post he makes by writing satirical — or fake — news.
Whereas some people focused on Paul’s words that his fake Facebook-spread news may have inadvertently helped Donald Trump become President-elect Trump, others focused on the whopping $10,000 per month that Horner says he makes from Google Adsense ads alone.
“I make like $10,000 a month from AdSense.”
Horner isn’t the only one making money hand over foot by creating fake news off of heated political topics. In Macedonia, as reported by BuzzFeed News, teens talked to the publication about creating pro-Trump websites that brought some teenagers as much as several thousand dollars per day — at least for those who began their pro-Trump websites early enough in 2016.
“He said a friend of his earns $5,000 per month, ‘or even $3,000 per day’ when he gets a hit on Facebook.”
Paul has certainly had his share of hits on Facebook — fake news that hit so big that people shared their outrage, along with Horner’s fake articles, all over the place before they realized they were fake articles.
As reported by the Washington Post in 2014, Paul has made as much as $10,000 in one day after going viral.
“Horner has pocketed as much as $10,000 a day.”
Horner has gotten so popular, in fact, that Stephen Colbert saw fit to dedicate a recent segment of his show to Paul’s work.
As seen in the following Facebook post from Horner’s page, Paul bemoaned the fact that Colbert focused on the idea that Horner’s fake news may have helped put Mr. Trump in the White House — an idea that Horner said he never desired to come to fruition.
Some of Paul’s work that has been debunked by Snopes includes articles claiming that the Amish committed their votes to Trump.
There was also the fake news that South Park was being sued for $10 million by Yelp, also debunked by Snopes.
It was Horner’s words to the Washington Post about the fake news he created surrounding Mr. Trump that seriously threw Paul for a loop, he stated.
“Honestly, people are definitely dumber. They just keep passing stuff around. Nobody fact-checks anything anymore — I mean, that’s how Trump got elected. He just said whatever he wanted, and people believed everything, and when the things he said turned out not to be true, people didn’t care because they’d already accepted it. It’s real scary. I’ve never seen anything like it.
“My sites were picked up by Trump supporters all the time. I think Trump is in the White House because of me. His followers don’t fact-check anything — they’ll post everything, believe anything. His campaign manager posted my story about a protester getting paid $3,500 as fact. Like, I made that up. I posted a fake ad on Craigslist.”
Paul said he couldn’t believe the way some of his Trump articles spread, and just how far up they spread in the Trump campaign.
The fact that fake news can spread all the way to the top of the presidency was recently examined in the article titled “How Fake News Goes Viral: A Case Study” by the New York Times.
The publication examined how one photo of a group of buses turned into a fake news report about anti-Trump protesters being brought into a certain city.
However, the photo was just an assumption that spread across Twitter, Reddit and other sites like wildfire, until Mr. Trump’s official Twitter account alluded to the tweet.
With the heated political presidential campaign representing a passionate story that readers wanted to spread, and Facebook being an easy manner in which to spread it, folks like Horner found themselves profiting from the ad revenue those articles generated as a result.
[Featured Image by Carolyn Kaster/AP Images]