Malia Obama Expelled From Harvard for Smoking Marijuana-Fiction!

Summary of eRumor:

Malia Obama has been expelled from Harvard after being caught smoking pot in a Boston hotel room.

The Truth:

A fake news website is behind false reports that Malia Obama has been expelled from Harvard or removed from Harvard’s student roster for the fall 2017 after being caught vaping marijuana in a Boston hotel room.

The report appeared at Last Line of Defense under the headline, “Malia Obama Expelled From Harvard.” The report, which was quickly shared on social media more than 9,000 times, begins:

Malia Obama, who has decided that as an adult she wants to be a pot smoking, rap listening, twerking party girl, has been ousted from the student roster at Harvard University. The school’s chancellor, Malcolm Little, said that regardless of her status as a former first daughter, the rules are the rules and she won’t be welcome there this fall.

The stunning announcement came after Malia was caught in a Boston hotel lounge vaping marijuana with friends. Harvard has a strict no drug policy. Massachusetts is one of the states that now allows for recreational marijuana and the hotel is “weed friendly,” but that doesn’t change the fact that she broke the rules.

Taken out of context, many believed the report to be true. However, Last Line of Defense’s disclaimer clearly states that the site contains “information from sources that may or may not be reliable and facts that don’t necessarily exist. All articles should be considered satirical and any and all quotes attributed to actual people complete and total baloney.”
The story uses a common tactic: weaving factual reports into a fictional narrative. In this case, it’s been reported that Malia Obama plans to attend Harvard in the fall of 2017, and Malia Obama was also filmed smoking what appeared to be marijuana at a music festival in August 2016. This article uses those two separate reports to form the false narrative that Obama was expelled from Harvard for smoking marijuana.

A real example of the eRumor as it has appeared on the Internet:

Collected on: 04/10/2017