No, this isn’t a real conversation between Bill Clinton and Tony Blair
Fake news and hoaxes are like zombies: just when you think they’re dead, they make a spectacular — and unexpected — comeback, stronger than before.
A Twitter account called “History Lovers Club” — one of those social media aggregators of quirky, compelling photos from the past — tweeted the following exchange between former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and former U.S. President Bill Clinton, saying it’s a “genuine conversation”:
Bizarre conversations between the two former leaders were not something unusual, as a BBC Freedom of Information (FoI) request in 2016 shows.
In one genuine phone transcript from the 1990s, Blair and Clinton talk about golf and cashmere, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see the two discuss Leeds Castle being in Kent.
However, in the aftermath of the FoI in January 2016, comedy writer Michael Spicer created some extraordinary fake excerpts and gathered them on his Tumblr.
Guess what, our Leeds/Kent castle rant is there, a perfectly, brilliantly executed hoax:
(Mashable‘s own Sam Haysom reported that here.)
People really wanted to believe, but Spicer himself took to Twitter to shut them down:
So the general rule here is: don’t trust Twitter aggregators, even if they have “historical” in their name/description and claim their facts are “genuine.”