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Leonardo Di Caprio was moving to Guildford, Surrey, UK.These stories appeared on sites with legitimate-sounding news domains such as kspm33.com, mckenziepost.com, ky6news.com, and km8Not surprisingly, the person behind one of the biggest fake news scams of all time prefers to remain hidden.To try and identify the owner, Buzz Feed News followed a trail from the fake sites to a group of now-defunct websites about topics including nurses and photos of Jennifer Love Hewitt, and eventually to a house in the small city of Atascadero, California, where a man named Justin Smithson resides.’”The local focus ensured the hoaxes spread in targeted clusters, and meant someone in, say, Saskatoon had no idea that the same trick was being played on people in Pittsburgh.
None of the sites list an owner or company, and all of their domain registration records are private.
Ending the Fed’s copycat hoax has gone on to capture additional attention as concerns about fake news during the election have intensified. Yet little has been said — and is known — about the site that originated this massive fake news hit.
WTOE 5 News is no longer online, and its owner has never been identified.
It quickly proved to be an effective strategy as the stories began to spread across the internet.
One morning in early March, a staffer for venerable rumor-checking website Snopes logged on to the site’s main email account to read the tips and questions that had flowed in overnight.