By Lisa Desjardins, CNN
Follow on Twitter: @LisaDCNN
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(CNN) – There are untold numbers of e-mail and Internet hoaxes. But there are few, in fact there may only be one, that has lasted 13 years and has evolved and been updated for three presidential elections.
Unfortunately for him, James Olson, law professor at Hamline University, has been falsely attached to that e-mail since 2000.
The much-forwarded message cites him as an expert claiming that Republican presidential candidates won more states, more population and more of the “tax-paying” American public in the U.S. The false e-mail also stipulates that Olson believes Democrats have won in areas with high-murder rates. None of it is true.
The initial e-mail appeared in 2000 and focused on urban versus non-urban voters. It was false then. But it didn’t go away.
Joseph Olson, professor who did not write the viral e-mail credited to his name, “The thing started changing… They changed it around so it began to hit at immigrants. The thing would cycle, it would come back every month, every three months.”
Olson specializes in business law and would like to be known for his reputation as a professor committed to facts and an emphasis on looking at problems through individual’s eyes. But instead, his minutes of Internet fame have been based on a complete hoax.
Brooks Jackson, director emeritus of FactCheck.org, “What’s going on here is every time we have a presidential election there are disappointed voters on oneside…and they will do anything to convince themselves and others that this guy isn’t the real president. Well it’s just nuts. It’s just delusional”
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