Fake news writer: Sorry I made Donald Trump president

AN AMERICAN writer who pens nothing but fake news, blames himself for the election of Donald Trump, saying he did not expect the voting public in the US to be so gullible.

Paul Horner, 38, told the Washington Post he writes for "at least 10" fake news websites including abc.news.com.co, which was publicised by Mr Trump's son Eric after it featured a fictional story claiming an anti-Trump protestor was paid $3500.

"My sites were picked up by Trump supporters all the time," he said.

"I think Trump is in the White House because of me.

"His followers don't fact-check anything -- they'll post everything, believe anything.

"His campaign manager posted my story about a protestor getting paid $3500 as fact.

"Like, I made that up. I posted a fake ad on Craigslist."

Mr Trump's son Eric shared the same story on Twitter with the caption, "Finally, the truth comes out".

Mr Horner said Mr Trump's victory showed the President-elect was able to say what he liked, and even if he was proven wrong, it did not matter.

"People didn't care because they'd already accepted it," he said.

"It's real scary. I've never seen anything like it."

It comes amid a debate around whether Facebook needs to do more to ensure fake news stories do not overwhelm more legitimate sources on the social media giant's pages.

The most popular fake news story of the campaign was one claiming Pope Francis had endorsed Donald Trump to be president. A claim that was entirely false, yet was spread to 960,000 people through Facebook.