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28 Sep 2017

Paul Horner, notorious fake news writer found dead

American fake news master, Paul Horner dies

Paul Horner, the writer who became famous for his fake news stories during the 2016 US Presidential elections, died at 38.

He was found dead at his residence in Arizona and is believed to have died of a drug overdose.

Horner's stories are said to have had an enormous impact in influencing the outcome of the elections.

Here's more about his work.

In context

American fake news master, Paul Horner dies

Who is Paul Horner?

Horner was an American comedian and a fake news writer. Many of his fake stories were shared during the 2016 elections by third parties, including Donald Trump's son Eric Trump. Among other things, he has claimed that Barack Obama is a "gay Muslim."

How did he die?

Cause of death

How did he die?

Jj Horner, his brother posted on Facebook that Paul died in his sleep. He remembered his brother as "an internet wizard, a humanitarian, an activist, a philosopher, a comedian".

Mark Casey, spokesman for the Maricopa County sheriff's office said that Horner had a "history of prescription drug abuse."

Casey added that the evidence suggested that his death could be caused by an accidental overdose.

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Fake news and the 2016 US Presidential elections

Fake news involves deliberate misinformation which is sensationalized or exaggerated. It is often aimed at misleading people towards somebody's political or financial gain.

Surge of fake news on social media had emerged as a major concern during the 2016 US presidential elections, with certain players using it to influence the outcome.

Facebook recently discovered numerous Russia-linked ads spreading politically inflammatory messages targeting American voters.

Can Horner's work be called comedy?

Horner defended his work saying it's political satire. "There's a lot of humor and comedy in it. I do it to educate people. I see certain things wrong in the society that I don't like and different targets," he had stated during an interview.

Paul Horner: I hate Trump

On Trump

Paul Horner: I hate Trump

Homer has expressed regret at the role his stories played during the 2016 elections.

He has clarified that his goal was "to make Trump's supporters look like idiots for sharing his stories."

Horner has also claimed that Trump is in the White House because of him.

On being questioned whether he ever targeted Hillary Clinton's supporters, he had replied, "No, I hate Trump."

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