Fact Check

Troll Sister

Published Aug 27, 2015


FACT CHECK: Did Josh Duggar seek a "brother-sister" type affair on the infidelity-based dating web site Ashley Madison?

Claim:    Josh Duggar sought a "brother-sister" type affair on the infidelity-based dating web site Ashley Madison.


Origins:    On 27 August 2015, the Newslo web site published an article titled "Josh Duggar Spent $1,000 On Ashley Madison, Was Looking For 'Sister-Like' Affair" that claimed:

"Gawker claims that a total of $986.76 was charged to his credit cards under two accounts during the two year span. According to data from the site, Duggar sought extra-marital affairs under the categories of "conventional sex," "experimenting with toys," "one night stands," "open to experimentation," and, surprisingly, "brother-sister incest sex."

"It's not his fault, he can't help it, he's just wired that way," a source who requested anonymity told Newslo of Duggar's apparent desires towards his siblings, predominantly sisters. The source allowed Newslo to reveal that he was, in fact, one of the cameramen who worked on the “Duggar clan reality show, "19 Kids and Counting," which was canceled by TLC in July. "Even on the set, he would act all strange around them and everybody knew that something was up," the source added. "It was involuntary, no matter how hard he tried to control it, he just couldn't."

Some of the sexual fantasies attributed to Duggar in that article matched information gleaned from accounts linked to him soon after the Ashley Madison hack. But the "brother-sister" detail is clearly false, as the site Newslo itself indicates. Unlike most other fake news sites, Newslo articles combine real-life quotes or events with subtle-to-strong embellishments. Each article on the site features a boxes at the top by which readers can "Show Facts" or "Hide Facts":

Selecting "Show Facts" for the above-quoted article revealed the "brother-sister incest sex" portion to be an embellishment (likely based upon a separate incident during which Duggar's sisters were victimized). However, all of Newslo's articles display in "Hide Facts" mode by default, ensuring the majority of its visitors are not seeing the content with fabricated aspects clearly marked.

In addition to its "Show Facts/Hide Facts" feature, Newslo features the following disclaimer:

Newslo is the first hybrid News/Satire platform on the web. Readers come to us for a unique brand of entertainment and information that is enhanced by features like our fact-button, which allows readers to find what is fact and what is satire.

Originally published:   27 August 2015

Last updated:   27 August 2015

Kim LaCapria is a former writer for Snopes.