No, Former President Obama Didn't Build a Statue of Himself for the White House

An article falsely says a bronze statue of Obama will soon be in the WH.

ByABC News
January 30, 2017, 4:11 PM

— -- An article making the rounds on Facebook falsely says that a bronze statue of former President Barack Obama will soon be in the entryway of the White House. But you won't be seeing it any time soon -- or any time at all.

The story is fake.

This fake news story, headlined "WOW: Obama Orders Life-Sized Bronze Statute of Himself To Be Permanently Installed in White House," asserts that in the final hours of his presidency, Obama ordered the $200,000 life-sized statue of himself.

Success Street and Empire News, the sites on which the fake story was published, did not respond to requests for comment. But here are five reasons that ABC News' reporting has revealed this article is fake.

1. The Photo Isn't Real

The most compelling aspect of the story is the accompanying photo -- a bronze statue of former President Obama in the Oval Office. But it's not a real photo. The photo of the statue itself was posted in 2013 on a Flickr page run by a user named Paul Sableman. Sableman wrote in a comment that the statue is in San Juan, Puerto Rico. It was Photoshopped with a photo of the Oval Office in the background.

2. The Original Source Has a Disclaimer

The article attributes the information to "Empire News" -- where the story appears to have surfaced for the first time on Dec. 31, 2016. It was authored by "Bob The Empire News Potato" and contains several misspellings of the word "statue." A disclaimer on a separate page of its website says its articles are "for entertainment purposes only."

3. The Exact Text Appears on Many Other Websites -- None of Them Credible

The text of the fake news story garners more than 100 hits in a Google search. But the content doesn't appear on the websites of any credible news organizations.

4. It Includes Several Fake Quotes From Obama

“I have been president for only eight years, and in that time, I have done what no other presidents could do in all their time in total,” the article claims that Obama said. (He hasn't said this, according to our searches, anywhere but in these articles.)

The story goes on to claim that Obama said his legacy “should not be diminished” and that he can “keep an eye” on current President Donald Trump. (Nope, he didn't say that either.)

5. A False Tradition

"The statue will not be allowed to be removed, as every president is allowed to leave one thing in the White House that must never be touched by future presidents," the story states -- falsely.

It goes on to give examples of things left behind by other presidents -- none of which are real. However, tradition does provide that outgoing presidents leave behind a handwritten note for the incoming president.

ABC News has launched "The Real News About Fake News" powered by Facebook data in which users report questionable stories and misinformation circulating on the platform. The stories will undergo rigorous reporting to determine if the claims made are false, exaggerated or out of context. Stories that editorial partners have also debunked will then appear flagged in your News Feed.

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