On 9 May 2017, Facebook page The Witty Liberal shared an article claiming Pastor Rick Scarborough attributed the cause of breast cancer to impure fantasies:
The link led to a Politicops article dated 16 January 2016:
Just last year, Vision America’s Rick Scarborough repeated his belief that AIDS is “God’s judgment on a sinful generation,” adding that “God would probably give us the cure for AIDS today” if the U.S. stopped supporting gay rights.
Commenting on the preparations for the event, Scarborough used the same pitch, only this time to refer to the fact that “U.S. women seem to be having a lot of dirty fantasies and that’s why God has also decided it would be a good idea to give them breast cancer so they could learn from their sins.” “You know, we’ve seen this happen before, and I’ve said it right from the start – He is watching everything and He sees everything, you just can’t hide anything from Him … First we had gays running rampant on Earth, so He took a look at that and decided we should have AIDS. Then, he saw some other abomination walking on the very planet that he built, so again he decided it was time for some punishment. And now, we have this – a situation where American women can’t get enough of dirty fantasies. You’ve got rape, kidnapping, incarceration, BDSM, anal, masturbation, you name it and our women are fantasizing about it. And sure enough, He’s watching closely. Why do you think we have breast cancer? Because He’s sick of what he’s seeing.”
Although Politicops (along with sister sites Religionlo, Newslo, and Politicalo) are known fake news purveyors, the claim’s reappearance on a popular Facebook page gave the story a veneer of authenticity.
Politicops and related sites usually start each article with a paragraph of factual information, followed by the falsehoods featured in their headlines. On these sites, a button allows readers to “show facts” or “hide facts,” but all articles appear in “hide facts” mode by default, and many readers don’t know about the function:
When “Show Facts” is activated, the portions attributing the statements about breast cancer to Pastor Scarborough were not highlighted as truthful information: