Credit: Screen grab
Trolls Are Sharing Fake News Claiming Andy Ngo Hired the Proud Boys to Smollett Himself

Trolls Are Sharing Fake News Claiming Andy Ngo Hired the Proud Boys to Smollett Himself

In the wake of an assault on journalist Andy Ngo by antifa activists at a downtown Portland demonstration this weekend, false stories claiming Ngo staged the attack circulated on social media.

Ngo was filming the Saturday rally – which was framed as a counter-protest against right-wing groups – when he was mobbed by masked protestors. A number of the activists punched and kicked him, while others hurled milkshakes, eggs and silly string.

Oregonian reporter Jim Ryan captured the attack, which left Ngo bruised and bloody, on camera. But apparently that wasn’t enough to deter bad faith actors from falsely claiming the entire incident was a hoax.

MORE: CNN Airs Footage of Antifa Attack on Andy Ngo – But Makes a Glaring Omission

Robby Soave, an editor for Reason, revealed on Tuesday that “trolls” were spreading a doctored version of an article he’d written about the assault.

In the doctored piece, Soave’s original headline, “Antifa Mob Viciously Assaults Journalist Andy Ngo at Portland Rally,” was manipulated to read: “Andy Ngo Hires Proud Boys to pose as Antifa and attack him at Portland Rally.”

“Trolls have been tweeting this doctored, fake screenshot of an article I supposedly wrote. My actual article made no such claims, and included a vastly different headline,” he tweeted in a caption accompanying a screenshot of the doctored article. “If this is the evolved form of fake news, it’s mildly terrifying. I have asked @Twitter to take action.”

Evolutionary biologist and Quillette contributor Heather E. Heying documented a similar instance of fake news surrounding the Portland assault. Heying highlighted an altered American Spectator article, whose headline had been changed to suggest Ngo staged the attack.

In eleven, forcefully worded tweets, Heying denounced the dissemination of false news stories “meant to sow hatred and distrust.”


“Real stories by real people in real outlets are having their very meanings reversed with simple editing. The results are then screenshotted and slipped into people’s timelines,” Heying tweeted. “No wonder people are confused. No wonder people are angry. Who the hell are you supposed to trust?”

Andy Ngo and fake news from the left

Liberals have long decried fake news from the right, but this isn’t the first time they’ve indulged in the practice for propaganda purposes.

Democratic operatives created thousands of fake Russian accounts in 2017 to give the impression that the Russian government was backing Alabama Republican Roy Moore in his special election race against now-Sen. Doug Jones.

MORE: Mugshots of Antifa Activists Busted for Portland Assault Emerge: ‘White ISIS’

In January, the deceptive video that instigated the online mobbing of MAGA hat-wearing students of Covington Catholic High School was traced back to the fake Twitter account of a Brazilian culture warrior.

Cover image: Andy Ngo. (Screen grab)



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