From Oct. of last year, Caitlin Dewey writing in the Washington Post:
A Pakistani journalist attempting to shame Malala Yousafzai conspiracy theorists — of which, it turns out, there are quite a few — may have accidentally fueled their conspiracies when a parody he wrote about Yousafzai’s life was taken as truth.
Nadeem Paracha published the satirical piece, “Malala: The real story (with evidence),” on the Web site of the Karachi-based newspaper Dawn this week. It skewered, in high absurdist fashion, those in Pakistan who believe that Yousafzai is a CIA plant, a money-seeking opportunist or some combination of the two. While the story originally ran without a disclaimer, it becomes pretty obvious that it’s parody after the fourth or fifth paragraph:
Malala was not born in Swat and neither is she a Pushtun. A respected medical doctor in Swat, Imtiaz Ali Khanzai, who runs a private hospital and clinic in Swat told our reporters that he has a DNA report that proves that Malala is not Pushtun.
Showing us the report, he said he extracted Malala’s DNA when as a child she visited his clinic (with her parents) complaining of an earache.
“After she was supposedly shot last year, I remembered I had a bottle where I had kept some of her earwax,” the doctor explained. “Collecting earwax of my patients is a hobby of mine,” he added.
He went on to claim that according to the DNA, Malala is a Caucasian, most probably from Poland.
There’s more: Christian missionaries, an Italian hit man and a Twitter exchange between fratty operatives named “Lib Fish” and “Oil Gul.”
Those eyebrow-raising anecdotes did not, however, prevent individuals numbering at least in the hundreds and a few media outlets from repeating the story as truth. The Lahore Times and Press TV, an Iranian television network, both reported (and later deleted) the story under the headline “Fraud unearthed!” Meanwhile, the piece has gone viral on Facebook and Twitter, racking up well over 30,000 shares and stirring debate even after 24 hours online.
Read more here.