Going as far as using Oprah Winfrey?
Oprah Winfrey looked upset.
The photo caught her midsentence, her left hand jabbing at the camera.
“They are twisting everything,” the TV icon was quoted as saying, under a red “BREAKING NEWS” banner.
The ad featuring the Winfrey image and quote ran on the conservative website DC Swamp Tales. It directed readers to a webpage that resembled a news article. The text spun a narrative about a television interviewer who unfairly berated Winfrey for promoting a revolutionary product that could “reverse Dementia instantly & for good.”
But there was no such dispute. Winfrey’s quote was fake, and her name and likeness were used without permission. The product, a low-dose, cannabis-derived gummy supplement, does not treat dementia, let alone reverse it.
“These ads are false. Oprah Winfrey does not have anything to do with these products,” Nicole Nichols, a spokesperson for Winfrey’s company Harpo Inc., told ProPublica.
Such scam ads have proliferated on right-wing websites worldwide in the past eight months. They use fake endorsements from celebrities including Winfrey, country music singers Dolly Parton and Reba McEntire, Twitter and Tesla owner Elon Musk, actor Ryan Reynolds, Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau and former German chancellor Gerhard Schröder to promote dubious medicines and cryptocurrency frauds. Conservative publishers make money from each click on a deceptive ad, exploiting their like-minded readers….
image…Credit: Screenshot by ProPublica