The Conservative Daily Review website identified blogger Laura Hunter as a anti-immigration, right-wing blogger who supports President Donald Trump and lives with her dog in Tennessee.
But that’s all fake news, according to a lawsuit filed last month.
Hunter is actually an actor, model and photographer living in Seattle, who was crowned Ms. World 2016.
“A Google search for ‘Laura Hunter’ reveals that Ms. Hunter’s photo and identity have not only been stolen, but unbeknownst to her, Defendants have turned her persona into a highly rated spokesperson for a right wing political website,” the claim states.
Salon reported that the fake Hunter’s Facebook page had nearly a million likes as of last month, but since the suit was filed, her photo has been replaced with an avatar. The site has also removed a bio it once ran saying Hunter was a single woman who enjoys hiking and camping.
In an interview with CBS Evening News, Hunter said that she isn’t that political but if she had to choose, her outlook leans more toward liberal. She described the fake news content being published under her false persona as “bigoted” and “racist.”
“I’m not those things,” she told the network.
The Huffington Post phoned the contact number listed on Conservative Daily Review’s website and was greeted with an automatic message stating, “The person you are trying to reach is not accepting calls at this time.”
Since the 2016 presidential election was inundated with false reports, critics have called on social media sites such as Facebook to actively fight against publishers spreading fake news on their platforms.
In December, Facebook announced that it would finally take action against fake news stories spreading on the site by working with fact-checking organizations to label bogus stories that users have flagged as problematic. In January, the social media giant said it would redesign its “trending news module” with the goal of sourcing more more reliable content for users.