Fact Check

Voluntary Servitude

Published July 28, 2015


FACT CHECK:   Did Sarah Palin call for the re-introduction of slavery on a voluntary basis?

Claim:   Sarah Palin has called for the re-introduction of slavery on a voluntary basis.


Example:     [Collected via e-mail, July 2015]

Is this fake news? Sarah Palin Calls For Re-Introducing Slavery On Voluntary Basis.

Origins:    On 7 May 2015, the entertainment web site Newslo published an article reporting that former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin had called for the re-introduction of slavery on a voluntary basis:

Sarah Palin, who is known to have an opinion on every matter, spoke to Newslo exclusively and stated that "it seems like [Tony Evans of the Urban Alternative ministry] has got it all figured out. So, I'd like to offer my advice and support in realizing his ideas."

"When slavery was first abolished, to say that that was a radical change would be an understatement," Palin said. "In fact, it's a historical one. So, today, when everything everybody seems to be talking about are illegal immigrants and their status, maybe it's time to make another equally radical — no, scratch that — historical change that would bring the attention of the public back to the real problem — the black community in the US."

Asked to further elaborate, Palin openly said: "What I'm talking about is realizing the pastor's idea somewhat indirectly — bringing back slavery, only this time making it voluntary. That way, the people would be able to have the best of both worlds. On one hand, black families would become as strong as before, and on the other, it would reduce pressure on the already tense relationship between white people and the black community, not to mention that it would put down the racial fires all across the US once and for all."

While the above-quoted text was originally published by Newslo back in May 2015, the article took another lap around the Internet when it was republished under the buttbet.com domain on 27 July 2015. With the exception of the domain change and a slight title alteration (the headline on buttbet.com reads "Sarah Palin Calls for Re-Introducing Slavery on Voluntary Basis" while the one on Newslo.com reads "Palin Supports Black Pastor, Calls for Re-Introducing Slavery on Voluntary Basis") the two articles are identical.

Newslo is a unique purveyor of fake news, as the web site publishes both factual and satirical content. Readers can determine which part of an article is factual and which part is satirical by pressing the "Show Facts / Hide Facts" button included at the top of Newslo articles:

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.

In this case, pressing the "show facts" button made it clear that this Sarah Palin quote was fake.

Last updated:      27 July 2015

Originally published:    27 July 2015

Dan Evon is a former writer for Snopes.

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