The Next Obama Conspiracy Theory: Social Security Number?

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TIME Magazine

Scouring the web today, one finds all the expected headlines. Oil spill, check. Supreme Court nominee, check. Obama’s fraudulent social security number…come again?

Some may think that the Birther conspiracy theories stopped with the presentation of a Hawaiian birth certificate, but across the web, the gossip mongering has surged forward in recent months. Just a couple weeks ago, it was rumors that President Obama had been having an affair. Now this morning, it’s apparently been unearthed by two private investigators that the President is using a social security number that originates in Connecticut – a fact that, if true, would ring some alarm bells, given the fact that President Obama had little or nothing to do with Connecticut for the better part of his life.

It’s a provocative claim. Or maybe not. A cursory investigation into the story yields no names for these “investigators,” and no substantiated proof that the President is using an inappropriate social security number. In other words: It’s all gossip, no substance. There’s no way to parse, verify or confirm the claims. It’s also telling that most postings of this story cite this new evidence via hearsay, or rumors. No one is standing by the story – not that that has stopped this from becoming one of the day’s hottest web searches. In the Google age, rumors can go viral in the blink of an eye.

All of these new rumors also arrive on the same day that nine workers were charged with improperly accessing President Obama’s student-loan records over the past few years, while working with a contractor for the US Department of Education. Rumors are well and good, but about the time that people start breaking the law as they set out to conduct their own “investigations” into the President, perhaps things are going a little too far.