A Community Alert
“The reality is that these fauxtire articles exist purely to lure visitors to their website, with the clear objective to confuse visitors into believing the fake news is genuine and sharing it with their friends. This traffic is then used to make money for the website owner through the use of sponsored advertisements. ”– Craig Charles, “5 Ways to detect a fake news ‘fauxtire’ website,” ThatsNonsense, October 20, 2014
This information will be updated as needed whenever possible.
Last update: November 19, 2016 7: 30 a.m. Central Time
Introduction for new visitors:
An unusually large number of websites started to emerge in late 2015 to 2016 that posted articles that are in many cases, if not all, plagiarized from older articles. (A list is below). The intent of this post is to focus only on this issue in the context of GMOs and related subjects; there is no doubt that this is ubiquitous across the internet for any topic.
There is a high probability some or all of these websites may contain malware (which differs from a computer virus) and are not just (harmless by comparison) clickbait websites.
New websites are created almost daily, so the list cannot be considered up-to-date. An example of such articles is about an old story from 2014 (that was debunked right away); it was a rumor about Michelle Obama teaming up with Monsanto. These websites typically publish these articles and the scammers (who have joined and infiltrated groups) post them as though these stories are brand new. They are not, and sometimes they are not factually based. But that is a main red flag: presenting an older news story as new. Articles that have been previously published, as far back as 5-7 years ago, are presented as new without any attribution to the original publication or author.
Another red flag is either the word or theme of HEALTHY in the URL or web address or website name. Also keep an eye out for the number “365” which appears in a small number of these websites. Another red flag to be mindful of is this: after something is posted in a Facebook group and some time has passed, the number of shares for that post exceeds by far the number of likes. This is typically the other way around (but not always) and may indicate that the group has more likely than not become a place to “farm” out these articles to other groups by potential scammers. It is suggested that a degree of heightened caution about accepting new members into Facebook groups is exercised that includes a more comprehensive review of the profile of those who wish to enter into a group (many fake profiles were discovered as a result of the research about this subject).
Another red flag to be mindful of are posts where the person asks a question to the members of the group while posting a link to an article. Sometimes this is not meant to obtain sincere feedback or input but instead may actually be a common marketing technique to encourage you to click on the posted link. Examples include questions such as “Did you know?” and “Is anyone in this group [fill in the question]?”
It is recommended that for the time being, people in these relevant GMO related Facebook groups exercise caution and avoid posting from the websites listed below. It’s not 100% sure that every website on the list is part of this coordinated scam, but if not, they are on the list due to similarities to those that are confirmed. Many are confirmed as highly suspect to those that are absolute threats. New ones are created constantly. The list is not comprehensive. Website addresses are posted with spaces added so they will not link to the actual websites.
When in doubt, before you click on a link to an article that is posted, you can Google the story or headline first. You may find the original article right away – published years ago – or you may even find that it has been previously posted by a number of such websites listed below – if so, these are red flags. Also, bear in mind that some scam website names are very similar to legitimate ones, and this is by design.
See below the list for suggestions that may help to increase your internet safety.
Note: If you use Chrome, periodically check to see if there is an update to the Chrome internet browser. Sometimes these patches may address minor security issues. Go to Settings, choose ‘Help,’ then choose ‘About Google Chrome’ and then it will check if you have the latest version. If not, it will install it, and then it will want to relaunch.
Noteworthy: A story2 that has been published repeatedly (without attribution to the original source) is based on a 2011 publication: “Court rules organic farmers can sue conventional, GMO farmers whose pesticides ‘trespass’ and contaminate their fields.” by Ethan A. Huff, Natural News; August 3, 2011. What is even more troubling about this article besides the fact that it is plagiarized and posted over and over (several times by various websites on this list), is that this court decision was ultimately overturned. Please see footnote  for details.
Noteworthy: 369NEWS .NET is the latest website to post the false story that Michelle Obama is teaming up with Monsanto. This story will not die. It is based on a debunked rumor from 2014. Michelle Obama actually made light of the claims and observed that it brought more focus on her campaign “Let’s Move” which evolved to address childhood obesity.
Noteworthy: An article that with a variation of this title has appeared on several websites: “We are Eating a Poison! Here’s how to identify GMO Tomatoes in 2 Easy Steps!” First, there are no GMO tomatoes in the market. They were sold between 1994 and about 1998 by a company called Calgene (they had the first FDA approved GMO food). Sales did not meet expectations and the product was withdrawn from the market and the company was bought by Monsanto. Second … any publication that asserts that you can tell if a food is GMO within seconds – without labels – is dubious, if not outright absurd. This particular article has been published on multiple websites all within a few day period. It is highly likely that each of these has a SEVERE threat probability. I stopped researching after the list just kept growing – these new websites appear all the time, day after day. This is only a partial list of websites that found with the same bogus article. After this many I just stopped looking:
HEALTHNFOOD .COM; HEALTHYLIFEVISION .COM; HEATHTIPSPORTAL .COM; HEALTHYLIFETRICKS .COM; HEALTHYADVICE24 .COM; CREATIVITYEXPLOSIONS .COM; KEEPYOURBODY.ORG; GOFITSTAYFIT .COM; POSITIVEANDHEALTH .COM; OURHEALTHYLIFESTYLE .NET; HEALTHYFOODLONGERLIFE .COM; SUPERIDEAS .NET; HEALTHADVISORGROUP .COM; ALLHEALTHYNEWS .COM; BARENATURALTRUTH .COM; HEALTHYFOODTALK .COM; HEALTHYLIVINGBASE. COM; SUPERTASTYRECIPES .COM; JUSTBEONTOP .COM; SECRETHEALTHY .COM; THEHEALTHYSPIRIT .COM
Noteworthy: A 2014 article is being reposted from various websites on this list, including a new one, ENABON .COM (new websites are constantly being created). This story is plagiarized, the most likely sources is from ‘The Guardian,’ a UK publication that published an article called “Sweet victory for Mexico beekeepers as Monsanto loses GM permit,” by Nina Lakhani, The Guardian; August 8, 2014
Noteworthy: Another story that will not go away is about the Monsanto Protection Act. It keeps re-surfacing on many websites that are on the list and new websites that are not. To address this, a brief explanation of the Monsanto Protection Act has been added at the end of this document, and a more comprehensive post is available here: “The Monsanto Protection Act of 2013,” Ban GMOs Now Blog; July 28, 2016
If anyone feels a website should not be on the list, or that others should be added, please let me know, and please share whatever information you have that explains why you believe that to be the case either way. The list is not intended to be comprehensive and it has not always been 100% accurate. Nonetheless, it does heighten awareness about this issue and hopefully will enable internet users to be more cautious about security concerns and scams, especially those associated with Facebook.
369NEWS .NET [This is one of the latest websites to post the fake story about Michelle Obama teaming up with Monsanto to promote children’s food; the story is based on a debunked rumor from 2014]
24HEALTHYANDBEAUTY .COM [A recent post says ‘BREAKING NEWS’ and says that Poland banned GMOs. The story happened in October 2015]
ALLHEALTHYNEWS .COM [Recent bogus article: “We are Eating a Poison! Here’s how to identify GMO Tomatoes in 2 Easy Steps!”]
BARENATURALTRUTH .COM [Recent bogus article: “We are Eating a Poison! Here’s how to identify GMO Tomatoes in 2 Easy Steps!”]
CREATIVITYEXPLOSIONS .COM [Recent bogus article: “We are Eating a Poison! Here’s how to identify GMO Tomatoes in 2 Easy Steps!”]
CHECKOUTTHEHEALTHYWORLD .COM [High probability of a SEVERE threat]
[WWW.] DIETLIFE .COM
EASYHOMETREATMENTS .COM [SEVERE THREAT LEVEL CONFIRMED – A recent post is a plagiarized article about Bernie Sanders’ support for GMO labels; an earlier post was about McCormick’s announcement to use non-GMO based products in October 2015 is presented as new on multiple websites including HERBS-INFO .COM & SUPERHEALTHY365 .COM]
EMBOLS .COM [High probability of SEVERE threat level]
ENABON .COM [SEVERE threat level confirmed] A recent plagiarized publication is about a 2014 article originally published in the UK, “Sweet victory for Mexico beekeepers as Monsanto loses GM permit,” by Nina Lakhani, The Guardian; August 8, 2014. This story has also been published by a number of websites on the list, including YOURNEWSWIRE .COM, HEALTHYCURES .ORG & CHECKOUTTHEHEALTHYWORLD .COM
FANTASTICWORLD .COM [SEVERE threat level]
GLOBALPOSSIBILITIES .ORG [A recent post is appears to be a plagiarized story written in 2011 without attribution to the original author and website; GLOBALPOSSIBILITIES .ORG is presenting the story as new and authored by the owner of that website. The website seeks donations. It should be pointed out that this story has been circulating by other websites on this list in recent months. This story is actually incorrect. Please see footnote  for more details].
GOFITSTAYFIT .COM [Recent bogus article: “We are Eating a Poison! Here’s how to identify GMO Tomatoes in 2 Easy Steps!”]
HEALTH-EXPLORER .COM [A recent article about GM crops burned in Hungary is presented as new; the story first appeared in July 2011]
HEALTHADVISORGROUP .COM [Recent bogus article: “We are Eating a Poison! Here’s how to identify GMO Tomatoes in 2 Easy Steps!”]
HEALTHIERTALK .COM [latest post is an enticement to vote on GMO labels]
HEATHTIPSPORTAL .COM [Recent bogus article: “We are Eating a Poison! Here’s how to identify GMO Tomatoes in 2 Easy Steps!”]
HEALTHIMPACTNEWS .COM [EXTREME SEVERE threat confirmed]
[WWW.] HEALTHFREEDOM .COM
HEALTHYLIFETRICKS .COM [Recent bogus article: “We are Eating a Poison! Here’s how to identify GMO Tomatoes in 2 Easy Steps!”]
HEALTHNFOOD .COM [SEVERE threat level confirmed. A recent article is about “identifying GMO foods” as you shop.]
HEALTHZONE5. COM [Recent bogus article: “We are Eating a Poison! Here’s how to identify GMO Tomatoes in 2 Easy Steps!”]
HEALTY365DAYS .COM [Similar to the name below “HEALTHY365DAYS”; a recent post is a story of “Farmer Forced to Dump 248 Gallons of Raw Milk, etc.” This story originally appeared in 2014 but is presented as new]
HEALTHYADVICE24 .COM [Recent bogus article: “We are Eating a Poison! Here’s how to identify GMO Tomatoes in 2 Easy Steps!”]
HEALTHY365DAYS .COM [A recent post is about Gwyneth Paltrow & GMO labels; the story is 2 years old]
HEALTHYADVICEPRO .COM [SEVERE THREAT Confirmed; recent article: ‘Organic Food Demand is Absolutely Exploding’]
HEALTHYFOODLONGERLIFE .COM [Recent bogus article: “We are Eating a Poison! Here’s how to identify GMO Tomatoes in 2 Easy Steps!”]
HEALTHYFOODTALK .COM [Recent bogus article: “We are Eating a Poison! Here’s how to identify GMO Tomatoes in 2 Easy Steps!”]
HEALTHYLIFECASTLE .COM [This is the latest website to post the fake story about Michelle Obama teaming up with Monsanto to promote children’s food; the story is based on a debunked rumor from 2014].
HEALTHYLIVINGBASE .COM [Recent bogus article: “We are Eating a Poison! Here’s how to identify GMO Tomatoes in 2 Easy Steps!”]
HEALTHYTEAMNETWORK .COM [Very high probability of SEVERE THREAT is confirmed. A recent post is about “curbing your carb cravings”]
HEALTHYWAYOFLIFE365 .COM [A recent post claims that scientists are mapping Cannabis DNA to keep it from being patented by Monsanto. The story is false].
HERBS-INFO .COM [McCormick’s announcement to use non-GMO based products in October 2015 is presented as new – also shows up in other websites of the same ilk such as SUPERHEALTHY365 .COM]
JUSTBEONTOP .COM [Recent bogus article: “We are Eating a Poison! Here’s how to identify GMO Tomatoes in 2 Easy Steps!”]
KEEPYOURBODY .ORG [Recent bogus article: “We are Eating a Poison! Here’s how to identify GMO Tomatoes in 2 Easy Steps!”]
LIFEPREVENTION .COM [may appear as WWW. LIFEPREVENTION .COM; A recent post is about the Monsanto Tribunal to be held in Oct. 2016; this story was first published Dec. 2015]
LIVEFREELIVENATURAL .COM [A recent post is about organic food being served in the White House. The story is very old and the way it is portrayed is inaccurate].
LIVEHEATLTHY-TEAM .COM [A recent article is about Monsanto’s earnings declining].
LIVEHEALTHYLIFE .ME [SEVERE threat level confirmed]
MYEXOTIC .EU [A recent post about a 2013 Supreme Court decision “Bowman v Monsanto” is presented as a new story; other websites on the list have also shared the same story as new; this page has a high probability of SEVERE threat]
MYHEALTHYCAREGROUP .COM [A recent story says that Monsanto withdraws bid to grow GM crops in Europe; this story first appeared in the LA Times in July 2013]
MRFITBODY .COM [A recent post is about a debunked rumor about Michelle Obama teaming up with Monsanto; the story is over two years old]
NATURALHEALINGMAGAZINE .COM [A recent post claimed that eating Bumble Bee tuna will kill you]
OURHEALTHYLIFESTYLE .NET [Recent bogus article: “We are Eating a Poison! Here’s how to identify GMO Tomatoes in 2 Easy Steps!”]
POLITICSBREAKING .COM [High probability of SEVERE threat confirmed. This is the latest website to republish – as new – an article about Obama signing a “Monsanto Protection Act” – a story a few years old. It is plagiarized and variations of the details are typically incorrect. A full explanation of the Monsanto Protection Act has been added below]
POSITIVEANDHEALTH .COM [Recent bogus article: “We are Eating a Poison! Here’s how to identify GMO Tomatoes in 2 Easy Steps!”]
SECRETHEALTHY .COM [Recent bogus article: “We are Eating a Poison! Here’s how to identify GMO Tomatoes in 2 Easy Steps!”]
SMH .COM. AU
SUGGESTHEALTHYTIPS .COM [SEVERE threat level]
SUPERIDEAS .NET [Recent bogus article: “We are Eating a Poison! Here’s how to identify GMO Tomatoes in 2 Easy Steps!”]
SUPERTASTYRECIPES .COM [Recent bogus article: “We are Eating a Poison! Here’s how to identify GMO Tomatoes in 2 Easy Steps!”]
STATEOF GOODHEALTH .COM
[WWW]. STOPAGINGNOW .COM
SUPERHEALTHY365 .COM [McCormick’s announcement to use non-GMO based products in October 2015 is presented as new]
THEHEALTHYDAY .COM [A recent article claims that GMOs are linked to Leukemia; this is incorrect; it is an inaccurate representation from the original article that was published about a certain study].
THEHEALTHYSPIRIT .COM [Recent bogus article: “We are Eating a Poison! Here’s how to identify GMO Tomatoes in 2 Easy Steps!”]
THEUNBOUNDED SPIRIT .COM
THEEVENTCHRONICLE .COM [A recent article is about Monsanto (“they are stunned,”) Glyphosate & California]
WORLDTRUTHTV .COM [Notorious for posting fake stories about GMOs, most notably a fake story about someone dying from consuming a GMO tomato with a fish gene in it; no such product exists]
VEGNEWS .COM [A recent post about 96% of Germans testing positive for glyphosate; the story is inaccurate and based on a previous accurate publication].
Two websites removed from the list: COMPLETE-HEALTH-AND-HAPPINESS .COM and HEALTHY-HOLISTIC-LIVING .COM
Although HEALTHY-HOLISTIC-LIVING .COM has been removed, there is still a note of caution. The Facebook page of that website (“Healthy Holistic Living”) shares a number of posts from other sources; some of those links originate from websites that are still on the list; until further notice, those posts from those other sources are considered potential risks.1
An additional website has been removed from the list: THETRUTHABOUTCANCER .COM. However, there are Facebook groups that imitate this website’s theme with a similar name, so again caution is still advised when sharing posts (and joining groups in particular) with a similar name.1
Another researcher stated: “Also ban anyone from Macedonia. Most of these sites plagiarize blogs and articles. Some of them have grayware/malware. Some of them will try to phish people.”
Research has confirmed that there are links to Macedonia (some of these websites are registered in Macedonia). Bear in mind that when these posts are originally made, they may be made by Facebook profiles that are not authentic. While they may actually originate from other countries, any fake profiles which may be associated with these websites could just as well say they are from Ohio as well as anywhere else.
Update, November 19, 2016: Well the mainstream media finally started taking notice, thanks to a series of publications by Buzzfeed News. Although they focused only on websites that posted fake news about politics in the U.S, there was at least some recognition that this is taking place – and that at least one source is Macedonia.
“How Teens in the Balkans Are Duping Trump Supporters with Fake News,” by Craig Silverman & Lawrence Alexander, BuzzFeed News; November 3, 2016
“How Macedonian Spammers Are Using Facebook Groups to Feed You Fake News,” by Craig Silverman & Lawrence Alexander, BuzzFeed News; November 8, 2016
“This Analysis Shows How Fake Election News Stories Outperformed Real News on Facebook,” by Craig Silverman, BuzzFeed News; November 16, 2016
Predictably, Mark Zuckerberg has demonstrated that computer related genius does not imply social intelligence; he was reportedly in complete denial about this.
“Mark Zuckerberg is in denial about how Facebook is harming our politics,” by Timothy B. Lee, Vox; November 10, 2016
“Lies in the Guise of News in the Trump Era,” by Nicholas Kristof, The New York Times; November 12, 2016
This kind of denialism is consistent with Facebook’s total ignorance regarding human nature and basic psychology. So many people have complained about bullying, being cyber-stalked, about reporting fake profiles, etc. and Facebook is literally stupid in their response.
Changes that Facebook made in the fall of 2016 are significant as well: suddenly, when a person shared any post from any group, the only way to share it was if the name and comment of the person who originally posted in that group were shared with that post; previously that information was NOT included. When the change was made, there was no way for anyone who shared posts from any group to remove the name of the person or the group where it was shared from. This is such an unbelievable disregard for choice, and it poses a serious security risk for those who want to participate in Facebook in a limited way only. For example, if a domestic abuse survivor who is trying to maintain her privacy decides to post something in a group, if someone else shares that post, then the name of the victim of that abuse is carried along to wherever the post is shared to, whether she likes it or not. This is a serious breach of safety, and yet after repeated complaints, months following this change, Facebook did not alter the way these posts are shared from groups.
To suggest that Facebook executives are insensitive to these concerns is an understatement – they are intensely void of awareness; they are in fact, stupid, ignorant, unfeeling and callous in their blatant disregard for the concerns associated with this change. Facebook has consistently displayed complete and utter ignorance wherever human nature is concerned.
It’s long overdue that Zuckerberg and his executive staff get off their “technology” overdrive emphasis and mathematical algorithms, and start employing some psychologists and psychiatrists (especially those who specialize in domestic abuse); they also need to get some input from sociologists and specialists in whatever other fields of discipline include the understanding of how people think and feel. They need to get a grip on understanding the nature of hate crimes, as well. To date, Facebook is a total and utter fail in this regard.
Facebook is a social network; it is no longer accurate for Zuckerberg and company to think of it as a technical achievement. Consequently, they MUST integrate a serious understanding of this fundamental fact and act accordingly as an ethically socially responsible company.
There is another aspect about these Facebook profiles that should be highlighted. For lack of a better term, these fake profiles will do “Friend Farming.” They will send out friend requests here and there to people who like their posts or whatever, and once they start making FB friends with legitimate people, they typically have access to that person’s friend list. So, if fake profile Sam the Scammer sends a friend request to Joe Naïve, then Sam the Scammer will see all of Joe’s friends and groups, and so on. This is because Facebook’s default settings are set to show those viewable to the public at large. The settings can be changed, and it’s worth considering. You can change your FB friend’s list so that only YOU see it, or only you and existing friends.3
The second option won’t help though if you have inadvertently accepted a request from a nefarious profile.
Once Sam the Scammer has access to Joe’s friend’s list, Sam can begin to send friend requests to the people on that list. It’s likely that some people don’t really check very hard to see who is sending them a friend request and accept without verifying their authenticity in some way. As Sam the Scammer gains more friends this way, his legitimacy increases in the eyes of other people. If Sam the Scammer is friends with 2 or 3 of Joe’s friends, it might make another legitimate person (Betty) conclude, well, they must be okay then, and she accepts that friend request from Sam the Scammer.
The other fact is to be mindful of is that Sam the Scammer will also be able to see all the groups that you belong to – unless you have made those private. Again, the default setting is public for this too. Once Sam the Scammer has access to your list of groups, he can begin to send out requests to join those groups and start posting in them. Admins may do a check and see that Sam the Scammer is friends with 3 or 4 mutual friends, so they accept Sam’s request to join the group. As Sam the Scammer gains entry into more groups and has more “friends,” he is more readily accepted into even more groups.
If you choose to make your friend’s list private, it won’t stop others from seeing you on other lists. So if you set your list to private but you are friends with Betty and Betty’s list is public, if someone visits Betty’s profile page they can see you are friends with her. So although setting your list of friends on a more private setting has some benefit, it does not provide total security.
It may be worth doing in any case, and it may also be worthwhile for people to make their list of groups that they belong to private as well.
Also note that the focus of this list is related to the theme of GMOs. Other researchers have found similar problems and patterns in other groups with different themes, particularly those that are politically related. ‘BERNIESANDERS24 .COM’ and ‘ENDINGTHEFED .COM’ are examples that have been highlighted by other researchers to be cautious about.
 There are also some Facebook pages that post articles from the list above, so be cautious about posts that originate from Facebook pages that appear to be okay at first glance, but may contain many posts sourced from the list above. Some of these pages may have similar names that are on the list, and others may not. One example is “DIVVY” which has posts from the list. This page also has some posts that are factually inaccurate but have made no attempt to remedy inaccurate posts even though they have been pointed out. As mentioned earlier, the Facebook page for “Healthy Holistic Living” has some posts that are from questionable sources. Although the website itself appears to be safe, the accompanying Facebook page shares posts from other sources (some of which are on the list) and those cannot be categorized as safe at this time.
 As mentioned above a previous story has been circulating that is plagiarized from this article: “Court rules organic farmers can sue conventional, GMO farmers whose pesticides ‘trespass’ and contaminate their fields,” by Ethan A. Huff, Natural News; August 3, 2011.
At first glance, when this is posted (as a new and recent story) by one of the scam websites, people reacted favorably to the headline: justice for organic farmers – at last. However, bear in mind that this is presented as a NEW story, when it is not, and it does not reflect the entire incident in the full context.
This story was also initially covered by the Star Tribune (Minneapolis), but it appears that they may have removed the original publication of the article from their online archive. However, the Cornucopia Institute posted the same article published by the Star Tribune on its own website (citing the Star as the source) and that is still available on the Cornucopia’s website here:
“Wafting Poison Makes Fertile Ground for Suit in Stearns County,” by Josephine Marcotty, Star Tribune (Minneapolis), Cornucopia Institute; July 26th, 2011
The story was covered by a law firm around the same time in this article:
“Agribusiness Alert: Minnesota Court of Appeals Allows Trespass Claim for Pesticide Drift,” by Nancy Burke, Jeff Peterson, Gray Plant Mooty; August 3, 2011
The main reason this post is flagged and those websites that publish it are on the list:
If that were the end of the story, then at least posting the plagiarized version would reflect some degree of truth. However, that was NOT the end. The case was appealed and heard by the state’s highest court which reversed the major aspect of the decision of the lower court:
“Agribusiness Alert: Minnesota’s Highest Court Rejects Trespass Claim for Pesticide Drift,” by Nancy Burke, Jeff Peterson, Gray Plant Mooty; August 14, 2012
Excerpt: In another legal development on chemical drift issues, the Minnesota Supreme Court reversed a Court of Appeals decision and ruled that pesticide drift cannot qualify as a trespass. See Johnson v. Paynesville Farmers Union Cooperative Oil Co., Nos. A10-1596, A10-2135 (Minn. S. Ct. August 1, 2012). The ruling prevents a Minnesota property owner from pursuing trespass claims against spray applicators for any damage to the owner’s property resulting from drift. While an affected owner may still pursue nuisance and negligence claims for drift, eliminating trespass claims is significant because under Minnesota law trespass claims require no proof of damage. [Emphasis in original].
 To read a related article, see: “5 ways your Facebook friends can put you at risk,” by Craig Charles, ThatsNonsense .com; May 11, 2016
Also see: “Stop Facebook apps your friends install accessing YOUR information,” by Craig Charles, ThatsNonsense; January 5, 2016
Also see: “The difference between asking for Likes and Like-Farming,” by Craig Charles, ThatsNonsense; May 18, 2016
“5 Ways to detect a fake news ‘fauxtire’ website,” by Craig Charles, ThatsNonsense; October 20, 2014
Excerpt: “The reality is that these fauxtire articles exist purely to lure visitors to their website, with the clear objective to confuse visitors into believing the fake news is genuine and sharing it with their friends. This traffic is then used to make money for the website owner through the use of sponsored advertisements. Fauxtire websites, like many different types of online spammers and scammers, will often exploit international stories like the Ebola outbreak and ISIS.”
Also see: “Facebook and Privacy,” by Malwarebytes Labs; June 2, 2016
Also see: “What is Social Engineering? – In 60 Seconds” – YouTube (1:09) published by Sixty Second Scams on August 10, 2016
Also see: “How to Remove a Facebook App from Your Account” – YouTube (2:07) published by Sixty Second Scams on January 22, 2015
Keep your software up-to-date
Depending what device you may use and which internet browser you have, it is a good idea to make sure you have the most current version. In Chrome, you click on the 3 bar menu in the upper-right hand corner and select “Help,” then “About.” Chrome will check which version you have and upgrade it if it is not the most recent version.
By default, Firefox is set to automatically update the browser as soon as they are available. To be sure, select the 3 bar menu in the upper right hand corner, choose “Options,” and then “Advanced.” When Firefox is installed, the “Firefox updates” is normally checked for “Automatically install updates (recommended: improved security).” If it is not checked, it is probably better to make sure it is.
With MS Internet Explorer in Windows 7 & 8, Windows Update will help to keep you current, and by default it is set to automatically update as needed. Windows 10 also has an automatic update feature.
To be safe, change your passwords periodically. Some suggest that changing your passwords at least once a month for certain services is worth considering (for example, Facebook and email). It’s always better to have long passwords with at least 12-15 characters that include a combination of small and capital letters, numbers and symbols (such as: %$#@!?>+).
Make sure you have a good anti-virus software program and consider an anti-malware program as well. I recommend Malwarebytes Antimalware (a free version is available). It works with all known anti-virus software programs.
See: “What’s the difference between antivirus and anti-malware?” by Wendy Zamora, Malwarebytes; September 11, 2015
And the website where they offer the software is here: “Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Premium.”
This brief video can be an eye-opener – it’s about how internet websites track you. When you are on the internet, apart from Facebook, or click on links that are outside of Facebook’s domain, you will be subject to internet tracking. This is nothing new and has been going on for years and years. Most websites do this solely for advertising purposes, but even then, your privacy is potentially compromised. However, beyond this simple privacy issue, some malicious websites can also track you. This is a threat that could potentially lead to some forms of identity theft, for example. A typical website may try a dozen attempts to track you, sometimes as many as 100. It has been documented that some websites (in particular, pro-GMO websites) have been known to try to track people hundreds of times (into the thousands) within a short period of time. This is a red flag that indicates the intent goes well beyond data collection for advertising purposes and is suggestive of nefarious objectives.
TAKE CONTROL – F-Secure Freedome VPN – YouTube (3:21) published by F-Secure on November 30, 2015
Protect your online privacy with F-Secure’s Freedome VPN – YouTube (4:04) published by F-Secure on July 11, 2016
“Good to do: Test your router to see if it’s been hacked – Here’s how,” by Komando Staff, Komando; July 23, 2016
“F-Secure Router Checker – Is my DNS hijacked?” by F-Secure
Excerpt: “A DNS hijack means that someone has intentionally modified the settings on your router without your consent. This type of attack allows an attacker to monitor, control, or redirect your Internet traffic. For example, if your router’s DNS has been hijacked, any time you visit an online banking site on any device connected to that router, you may end up being redirected to a fake version of the site. From there, the attacker can gain access to your banking session and use it to transfer money without your knowledge. Home routers can be hacked if they contain vulnerabilities, or if they are misconfigured.”
Make sure to update Adobe Flash player as well if needed. In early 2016 there was an update due to a discovery that hackers had been able to take advantage of a weakness in the program and embed malware; so updates can fix security issues. Google advises that it integrates the flash player in their internet browser and releases occasional updates to their browser, Chrome. It is a good idea to periodically check and see if any updates are available for Chrome.
If you use Firefox internet browser, it will now block your ability to watch videos that require Adobe’s flash play if it is not updated to the most current version. Therefore, you must update it manually, and at this time, Firefox does not integrate an update into their browser in the same way that Chrome does – which automatically updates the flash player. A word of caution: Note that when you choose to install it, there are two “Optional Offers” selected by default. These optional software installations should not be checked by default because many people may not see this, or may not understand the implications of installing these third party software applications. For example, one of the options selected by default is McAfee’s Security Scan Plus; this “light” version of their anti-virus software program may conflict with any existing anti-virus program already installed on your device. These are basically promotional versions of the respective companies’ software and are only there for the intention of increasing sales by encouraging people to try the lighter versions for free. They may not necessarily be wanted by those who just want the Flash play update; the option to install them should not be check by default – and the fact that they are shows it is more of a marketing technique than anything else.
All the being said, if you need to update the flash player, open Firefox, then go to this link:
Videos of milder versions of a Facebook scam:
“Facebook Like-Farming Scams Explained,” YouTube (1:07) published by Sixty Second Scams on May 3, 2016
“Facebook Farming: The Scam of “Like”” – YouTube (2:38) published by thatfeller on June 25, 2013
Monsanto Protection Act (a short version)
For a more complete expanded version of the FULL story of the Monsanto Protection Act, see my blog post: “The Monsanto Protection Act of 2013,” Ban GMOs Now Blog; July 28, 2016. Here is the short version:
“The “Monsanto Protection Act” was actually part of a larger farm/budget bill that expired after months. It occurred in 2013: “If a biotech crop had already been approved (or deregulated) by the USDA and a court reversed that approval, the provision directed the Secretary of Agriculture to grant temporary deregulation status at the request of a grower or seed producer, to allow growers to continue the cultivation of the crop while legal challenges to the safety of those crops would still be underway.” The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is the branch of the USDA that is responsible for this.
As an example, Monsanto must submit a notice to APHIS that they want to do field trials of GM sugar beets, and the department is required to approve the field tests (or not) within 10-30 days.
After the field trials are complete (as determined by Monsanto), they submit a petition to the USDA to deregulate this brand of GMO sugar beets. When they do receive approval from APHIS, it is considered nonregulated status and approved for commercial sale in the marketplace. (Note that after this product is classified as nonregulated, the USDA has no further role in monitoring it in real world conditions – no matter how many acres may be grown or where).
Before APHIS can deregulate a GMO brand, it must conduct an environmental Assessment (EA) to determine if the product poses any plant pest risks (harm to the environment and other plants). If they conclude it does not, then they submit a ‘finding of no significant impact’ (FONSI). If they conclude otherwise, then they are required to conduct and submit (and make available to the public) an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).
After a GMO brand has received nonregulated status, if a lawsuit is filed against the USDA (that calls into question the assessment by APHIS and related actions), then a can halt any further cultivation of that brand, and potentially require those crops to be pulled up. The ‘Monsanto Protection Act’ prevented any court from having authority to enforce such a legal mandate; it allowed the USDA to disregard a court order. The ability of the court to enforce such an order were circumvented by that legislation which was considered a serious threat to the judicial process.
The law expired about 6 months later on September 30, 2013; it was signed by President Obama under constant threats of a government shut-down by a republican controlled congress to prevent any bills like this from passing (which would then require the signature of the President to become law).
This version of this bill originated in the House and was passed on March 4, 2013 and sent to the Senate which passed the bill on March 20, 2013. (The full bill was called H.R.933 – “Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013”). It was amended in the Senate, and so procedure required that it be sent back to the House in its revised form for another vote.
The problem centered around one small paragraph called Section 735, which was inserted discretely into the bill – without anyone immediately taking credit for doing so. Another name associated with this section is the “Farmer Assurance Provision rider.” Later it was revealed that Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) had been the culprit. Records indicated he had received a legal political donation of $60,000 from Monsanto.
As the bill was set to expire, an extension of the bill (from the Senate) with the same provision was introduced in the House, and at that point anti-GMO activists took to the streets and members of the House who opposed this provision were successful in preventing that section from being extended.
The context at the time is that there were constant threats by members of the Republican Party that in order to block certain legislation they threatened to shut the government down by refusing to pass any budget bills. Also, since the duration of the legislation was only six months, it had no impact on any court case at all.
Several criminal organized scam websites have republished this variations of this story, presenting it as new, current news. This presentation (as new) is a red flag that indicates an attempt to lure readers into what could potentially end up being an attack from malware.
The article that is plagiarized more than any other is this 2013 publication (even the photo is often hijacked): “Obama signs ‘Monsanto Protection Act’ written by Monsanto-sponsored senator,” by RT America; March 28, 2013
सत्यमेव जयते – Satyameva Jayate
(Truth Ultimately Triumphs)
Re-posting is encouraged, provided the URL of the original is posted with attribution to the original author and all links are preserved to the referenced articles, reports, etc. on their respective websites.
Copyright © Jeff Kirkpatrick 2016 Ban GMOs Now All rights reserved.