A fake news story regarding Donald Trump’s recent visit to Europe and the travel website TripAdvisor purposely set out to confuse readers about its validity — and succeeded completely, according to Snopes.
Writers for Mashable claimed to obtain several screenshots of reviews supposedly made by the “Make America Great Again!” political leader on the Yelp-like destination review site this past Saturday, following his first journey to counties in and around the Middle East as the free leader of the United States.
“The man wants to communicate his world view the best way he knows how,” Mashable journalist Heather Dockray wrote, “by yelling [it out] on the internet.”
“Returning from his trip in the Middle East, the president has graciously left behind his TripAdvisor reviews for each and every country he visited. Trump got the travel bug!”
The very first “Trump” TripAdvisor review shared by Mashable almost immediately displays the obvious, satirical undertone of the piece.
“A tremendous place,” it reads, in relation to Murabba Palace in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, or as “Trump” referred to it, “the Mar-a-Lago of the East.”
“Huge, beautiful castle. Gold everywhere you can look. And such fantastic customer service! You know, they love me over there. They didn’t love [Barack] Obama, but they do love me. Very affordable.”
His alleged thoughts on Taormina in Sicily, Italy, were less than complimentary, to say the least.
“I feel very bad for the Italians,” “Trump” allegedly offered under the title, “Italy Is A Dump.”
“It’s very hot here and the walls are crumbling. [Do] you know they won’t even let you tweet in Italy,” he continued.
Trump's back from his overseas jaunt, take a look at these TripAdvisor posts to find out what he thought https://t.co/bJpMGoTbhx— Mashable Tech (@mashabletech) May 27, 2017
As the piece began going viral, many of Mashable‘s readers headed to the comments section of the article and questioned if the publication was pulling their collective chains.
“Is this for real,” one user, Maria, asked, as BoredPanda provides.
“Does he think he is a travel adviser?”
Another site reader, Sarah, couldn’t help but admit that Donald Trump’s notorious, past social media usage did offer proof to his TripAdvisor account and the reviews possibly existing.
“This is entirely within the realm of possibility for Trump,” she responded.
Be that as it may, Sarah, Snopes did some digging and, as most may have already gathered; debunked the piece, once and for all, on Monday.
“These [TripAdvisor] reviews were not actually written by President Trump,” the myth-busting site explained.
“The TripAdvisor reviews originated in an article published by Mashable, with a few hints (in addition to the article’s outlandish premise and the unbelievable text) that the reviews are not real.”
Incidentally, it turns out that although not tagged as “satire,” the website quickly offered the truth about the Trump TripAdvisor entries right before the first screen grab appeared on the page.
“Below are his reviews, published here for the very first time.”
Trump’s Tripadvisor Reviews About Middle East Are Going Viral, And People Are Seriously Confused https://t.co/Gu32M5EITZ— Rodrigo Arroyo (@arroyorodrigo) May 30, 2017
Secondly, although forms of the word “satire” do not appear in the article itself, scrolling down to the very end of the Mashable piece provides another direct allusion to its intended theme.
“The article also carries a ‘humor’ tag, showing that it was written in jest, not as a genuine news story,” Snopes further relays about the Trump TripAdvisor piece.
Just to be safe, however, Snopes personally attempted a search to discover if Trump had left any reviews on TripAdvisor at all, in the past.
Spoiler alert: He hasn’t.
“We searched TripAdvisor to see if we could find any reviews written by Donald Trump and found no reviews about [any of the places he visited] or any other landmarks in the Middle East,” they state.
Donald Trump himself has not (as of yet) taken to Twitter to criticize the fake TripAdvisor reviews.
[Featured Image by Pool/Getty Images]