The Peoples Voice - News Punch - Your News Wire: 'Satirical' Alternative Media


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This operation has been going on since 2014 and has by now achieved massive traction on social media. I regularly see people cite it as a news source on this forum. I've been admonishing forumites for doing so, but have only now realized we don't have a reference thread on it. So let's take a look at one of the largest 'alternative news sources' on the anglophone internet...

Your News Wire (later rebranded as News Punch, and lately known as The Peoples Voice) was launched in 2014 by Sean Adl-Tabatabai, and it quickly attracted significant readership, and MSM attention. Here's a report on it in the UK Times in January 2017:

Mother churns out stories for master of fake news

Sean Adl-Tabatabai.jpg
The man behind one of America’s biggest “fake news” websites is a former BBC worker from London whose mother writes many of his stories. [...]

After working as a television producer for the BBC and MTV, he took a job helping to run the conspiracy theory site of David Icke, a former BBC sports presenter who claims the world is secretly run by alien reptiles in disguise.

Adl-Tabatabai made his first appearance in the mainstream media in 2014, featuring in articles as one of the first gay men to marry in the UK. He now operates out of a luxury apartment block overlooking a golf course in his husband’s home town of Los Angeles.

His site carries a mixture of conspiracy theories, real news stories, such as last week’s Supreme Court vote on Brexit, and demonstrably fake news, including a recent report that the Queen had been “placed under house arrest”.

His mother, Carol, a holistic medicine expert, is one of his main contributors, with thousands of articles under her name. She said that although some of her pieces are “a bit weird” and “maybe a little satirical”, she is “giving people food for thought”.

Another prolific writer on the site goes by the name of Baxter Dmitry. The photograph next to the author’s name was in fact that of a Latvian computer programmer, who told The Sunday Times he was not Dmitry and his identity had been stolen. The photograph has since changed to a picture of a different man.

Another investigative report (hit-piece, really), published just two weeks later, in the UK Evening Standard:

Sean Adl-Tabatabai on being in the eye of the 'fake news' storm

Sean Adl-Tabatabai_2.jpg

On the current bio under articles Adl-Tabatabai puts his name to - see here for example - he says he is a "Knight of Joseon." That would appear to be this, "the first cyber-nation." :umm: I think it's some updated version of the 'sovereign citizen movement', another libertarian lark. It's hard to gauge how seriously Adl-Tabatabai takes any of this. He's been very serious about running alternative news websites, yet he has no qualms about including some patently fake news in his reporting.
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