On February 21 2021, a screenshot of a purported news article attributed to “Andrea Tonks” and reporting that disinformation purveyor Alex Jones had lost thousands of dollars to a Communist “findom” (financial dominatrix) appeared:
No identifier for any news organization was visible in the screenshot, which included an image of a disheartened-appearing Jones. Text on the image read:
Home > Showbiz & TV > Celebrity News
Alex Jones Loses Thousands to Mistress Amber, Communist “Findom”
ALEX JONES — the host of The One Show — embarrassingly linked a video intended for private viewing on the recently revived right wing social media site Parler, in which he can be seen crying and yelling for his “momma.”
By ANDREA TONKS
PUBLISHED 13:51, Mon. Feb 22, 2020 | UPDATED 14:17 Mon, Feb 22, 2020
Alex Jones post [sic] an embarrassing video on social media site Parler (Image: Instagram)
Two initial clues about the veracity of the post immediately emerged in the transcription. For one thing, the purported article was dated February 22 2020 (not 2021), suggesting it had somehow lain dormant for a year before suddenly going viral a year later. A small typographical error also appeared in the small caption under Jones’ image.
Andrea Tonks, Alex Jones, and The One Show
A search for “Andrea Tonks” and “Alex Jones” returned only a few results, two of which were relevant. Andrea Tonks — who apparently is a real person — was credited for two separate 2020 articles on Express.co.uk, one of which likely served as the template for the screenshot.
Both articles concerned a Welsh woman also named Alex Jones, host of BBC‘s The One Show, and both were published in August 2020. One of the articles was about the Welsh Alex Jones’ new blonde hairstyle, and the other pertained to a “candid Instagram” post. (The latter was likely the template for the “Communist findom” screenshot, as it also involved a caption crediting Instagram for the image.)
Migration to Reddit
As for the article headlined “Alex Jones Loses Thousands to Mistress Amber, Communist ‘Findom,'” we found no evidence it had ever existed. On February 23 2021, the screenshot was shared to Reddit’s r/KnowledgeFight:
Alex Jones loses thousands to Mistress Amber, Communist "Findom" from KnowledgeFightDid Ben Shapiro Tweet That He and His Wife Know There Are More Important Things in Marriage Than ‘Sexual Satisfaction’?Did Ben Shapiro Tweet That He and H...
Reddit discussions about the veracity of the screenshot largely reflected confusion. Heavily downvoted users claimed the image was authentic, while others landed at an explanation far more complex than the most likely one — a random person creating the screenshot to mock the InfoWars host:
Ok so prepare to have your MOND [sic] BLOWN or not
The One Show is a British chat/current affairs show. Here is a random episode. One of the hosts is named Charlotte Alexandra Jones) and I can only presume she uses Alex Jones professionally on the Michael Bolton principle (“Why should I change it? He’s the one who sucks!”)
“Alex Jones Findom” gives us this twitter thread which is just the same screen caps we’ve all seen.
Andrea Tonks is a celebrity gossip journalist for the Daily Express but don’t hold that against her, the UK press is garbage and everyone has to make a living, even Piers Morgan, unfortunately. No sign of any Alex Jones Findom articles under her byline.
So…. where does that leave us?
Alexandra Jones, BBC One talk show host, may have paid thousands to a communist FinDom.
Maybe? This would require Alexandra Jones to have a parler account but given that she mostly appears to be famous for being a bit concerned about trampoline safety (I told you the UK press was trash) I don’t think its likely.
Alex Jones, Far Right conspiracy theorist and believer in inter-dimensional demon aliens, may have paid thousands to a communist FinDom
…wouldn’t be the first time a rich and famous Conservative is revealed to have a kink that diametrically opposes their public world view and it wouldn’t be the last, but dollars to donuts he would not have been aware of her communism. Either way: good praxis, Comrade Amber, but you’ll be shouting the vodka at the next internationalle.
Alex E. Jones absolutely has a parler account. I suppose its plausible that a UK gossip journo might get mixed up between Alex and Alexandra Jones but honestly Tonks I’m disappointed.
Someone faked an article using Tonks’ byline and fhe Daily Express formatting, and also faked YouTube screengrabs of the video Definitely a strong possibility. People have done worse, like fake that tweet from Ben Shapiro which is still fucking hilarious and the actual things he said were still hilarious but I digress.
But if its a fake, why put that thing in about The One Show?
Either way, there is a mystery here, a conundrum that I am promptly going to not give a fuck about until someone actually PMs me a link to the video seriously guys my inbox is open and I could use a laugh.
That commenter was aware of previous hoaxes, such as viral (but fake) Ben Shapiro tweets, and referenced them — but only as one of many possibilities for the screenshot’s origin. A user also shared the image to r/alexjones (a subreddit for mocking Jones), asking if anyone had “found the video” yet:
Earliest Iteration: Twitter
Humor seemed to be the likeliest explanation for the screenshot, based on a popular tweet shared on Twitter by @LicensedT0Ill on February 22 2021.
In a reply to the text-only first tweet, the account shared that same screenshot:
Commenters in the thread were not immune to the same confusion we found on Reddit, replying that they were unable to find the link and speculating it that it might be a Google cover-up:
Can't tell if this is just a bit or google is trying to cover it up, both equally believable…
— ςhιζζιgνζλ (@chilligula) February 22, 2021
Comments on the screenshot often included questions about “findom,” or users stating that the screenshot introduced them to the meaning of the word.
“Findom” is an abbreviation for “financial domination,” a subset of BDSM. In 2016, Vice ran an interview with a financial dominatrix:
What’s real financial domination, then?
There are two ways I do it that I feel are true financial domination. The first is to know everything about my pet —- how much he makes, how much he spends, and what he spends it on. I do a budget for him that he must follow exactly. I make sure his bills are paid first, but cut his food spending down by half because he can eat ramen noodles very cheap. I cut his “extras” spending to a quarter. After that, I look at the balance of the earnings and half goes into savings for him and half comes to me. He reports to me via email daily, details any purchases and makes requests for savings withdrawals. I control all of his spending.
What’s the other way?
That’s just a basic online BDSM relationship with financial perks thrown in. We speak daily via email or on the phone and build a real relationship. I give him various tasks: weight-loss goals if he’s chunky, embarrassing pictures, such as in drag, chastity, etc. He gives me gifts because he appreciates my domination. I penalize him financially for any failed tasks or if he pisses me off.
A purported screenshot of an article attributed to “Andrea Tonks” with the headline, “Alex Jones Loses Thousands to Mistress Amber, Communist ‘Findom'” spread on Facebook, Reddit, and Twitter beginning on February 22 2021. Andrea Tonks is a real person who has written for Express.co.uk, and the screenshot appeared to be a fabrication based on one of her two August 2020 articles about a Welsh BBC presenter named Alex Jones (rather than Alex Jones of InfoWars.) As the screenshot traveled further from its original context in a Twitter thread, readers were confused about its origin. However, the claim was clearly a hoax intended to be humorous, and it did not represent any existing article about Alex Jones or an “embarrassing” findom video.