Internet mocks Trump's aide, press secretary for 'alternative facts'

Internet mocks Trump's aide, press secretary for 'alternative facts'
PHOTO: Reuters

We live in a post-truth world, with fake news and now "alternative facts" as well.

The phrase, first uttered by President Donald Trump's counsellor Kellyanne Conway to defend press secretary Sean Spicer's comments about the size of the inauguration crowd, almost immediately sparked a deluge of memes, spoofs and satires online.

Read also: 7 things to know about Trump's press secretary Sean Spicer

On Twitter, dictionary publisher Merriam-Webster took an early shot, tweeting out the definition of the word 'fact'.

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The Internet's meme factory also went into hyperdrive, with users mocking Conway's phrase with exaggerated (and obviously false) claims

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Some celebrities got in on the joke as well, including former N'SYNC member Lance Bass.

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Troubled rock star Courtney Love also had an "alternative fact" about her past.

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And a Twitter account spoofing the Death Star, the famous planet-destroying megaweapon in the Star Wars franchise, had this to say:

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Ms Conway had appeared on TV to say that the White House had presented "alternative facts" to media reports about the size of the crowd at Mr Trump's inauguration.

Mr Trump said that his inauguration crowd "looked honestly like a million and a half people", while Mr Spicer said: "This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration - period - both in person and around the globe."

But an analysis by The New York Times of photographs of the crowds at this year's inauguration and Barack Obama's in 2009 showed that Mr Trump's crowd was significantly smaller, with an expert suggesting that Mr Trump's crowd was about a-third of the size of Mr Obama's in 2009.

The crowd at the inauguration of President Donald Trump (left) compared to the inauguration of President Barack Obama's inauguration in 2009.
Photo: Reuters

Meanwhile, other news websites and publications fact-checked some of the "alternative facts" on Mr Trump's White House website. For instance, the website claims that in 2015, homicides had risen 17 per cent in America's 50 largest cities, but Mashable pointed out that such a statistic is misleading as homicides in the whole of the United States has declined by about half since 1993.

Read also: Humour: Was SMRT victim of a 'post-truth' world?

seanyap@sph.com.sg

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