Man, who earned considerable notoriety for peddling fake news on social media platforms has been found dead at his home.
Horner’s brother posted the news on Facebook, “It is with a heavy heart that I must share the sad news of the passing of Paul Horner. He left us peacefully in his sleep Monday morning, September 18th at our mother’s house in Laveen. He was a loving son and brother, an artist, a heroic writer and story teller, a preacher, a caretaker for our brother Brian, an internet wizard, a humanitarian, an activist, a philosopher, a comedian, a patriot, Banksy (twice), Bill Murray, a dolphin, and my biggest fan. Above all he was the most loving and generous human I’ve ever known. He will be greatly missed. Rest In Peace brother. I love you so much, I know you’re out there somewhere.”
Quoting US officials, BBC reported that 38-year-old Paul Horner was found dead in his bed in Laveen, Arizona, on 18 September, after a suspected drug overdose.
Horner became famous after a Facebook page created by him regularly published fraudulent articles that was widely shared by the supporters of President Donald Trump in the Presidential elections last year.
Many believed that the surge witnessed in fake news during the last year US Presidential polls had immensely contributed to Trump’s election as the new President in November.
Among his fake articles had also included false claims that former President Barack Obama was both gay and a radical Muslim. Among those, who frequently shared his lies, was also Trump’s son, Eric, and campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. One such article shared by them was one of Horner’s fake news items about protesters being paid $3,000 to demonstrate against the Republican candidate.
In an interview to The Washington Post in November last year, Horner had said that Trump was the President because of him.
He had said, “I think Trump is in the White House because of me. My sites were picked up by Trump supporters all the time… His followers don’t fact-check anything – they’ll post everything, believe anything.”
Fake news has been become a real menace even in India with the supporters of Prime Minister Narendra Modi being blamed for peddling lies to drum up support for the BJP. Many believe that, just like Trump in America, Modi’s success in India too has largely been due to spread of fake news.