Swatting Hoax: 15-Year-Old “Swatted” Gamer Paul Horner ‘Convicted of Domestic Terrorism; 25 Years to Life in Prison’ Article Entirely Fake

August 30, 2014 Updated: July 18, 2015

An article saying 15-year-old gamer “Paul Horner” was sentenced to 25-years-to-life in a federal prison is fake.

The bogus piece was published on National Report, a satirical webiste.

“What many teenagers these days are considering a harmless prank, has landed one online gamer in more trouble than he could have ever imagined. In a Louisiana courtroom today, 15-year-old Paul Horner broke down in tears after a judge found the young man guilty on two counts of domestic terrorism and was sentenced to twenty-five years to life in federal prison,” it says.

The website doesn’t currently have a disclaimer, but it used to say: “*DISCLAIMER: National Report is a news and political satire web publication, which may or may not use real names, often in semi-real or mostly fictitious ways. All news articles contained within National Report are fiction, and presumably fake news. Any resemblance to the truth is purely coincidental . The views expressed by writers on this site are theirs alone and are not reflective of the fine journalistic and editorial integrity of National Report.”

It’s also worth noting that there’s no media reports of a 15-year-old named Paul Horner being sent away to prison for “swatting.”

The National Report frequently uses the name “Paul Horner” in many of its articles, which can be seen here and here.

On Saturday, the article appeared to be going viral, generating tens of thousands of “likes” and shares on Facebook.

About a week ago, the National Report posted a bogus story saying “Breaking Bad” would return for another season, which got  hundreds of thousands of shares. The website also posted a fake story saying Casey Anthony would be pregnant with twins and would have a reality TV show about her life.