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Only elected Democratic Socialist in San Francisco target of fake news site

A man in a light gray suit, blue tie and glasses glances to his left.
Supervisor Dean Preston was targeted by a news site that reportedly published inaccurate information about him. | Source: Justin Katigbak for The Standard

A purported news website that somehow publishes hundreds articles per day from virtually every country on Earth has taken aim at a San Francisco supervisor, placing the blame for the city’s ills on his shoulders.

In a matter of a single day, the website BNN pumped out three articles about Supervisor Dean Preston chronicling his “Uneventful Journey in San Francisco Politics,” his “Rocky Road to Re-Election” and painting him as “The Disgrace of San Francisco’s Failed Leadership.”

The barrage of strangely written articles comes after Preston issued a statement bashing the website for posting inaccurate information suggesting he was resigning from office. BNN’s inaccurate story was reportedly reposted by MSN and was later corrected. Neither site could immediately be reached for comment. 

“People deserve reliable news sources,” Preston said in a statement on Oct. 15. “I sincerely hope that this is not a preview of what’s to come and that we never normalize this kind of disinformation.”

BNN is the brainchild of Gurbakash Chahal, an entrepreneur with a checkered history in San Francisco. 

In 2013, Chahal, who was then CEO of the advertising technology firm RadiumOne, was arrested after video footage captured him beating and kicking a girlfriend at his SoMa penthouse. He later pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor battery charges but later had his probation revoked in connection with a second domestic violence incident. 

Last year, BNN accounts were banned from Twitter, now known as X, over the site’s policies on spam and platform manipulation. Chahal sued the company in April over the account bans. 

BNN’s editorial guidelines page pledges to “uphold a neutral, respectful tone” and “present stories without bias, ensuring all perspectives are fairly represented.” However, the articles about Preston contain inaccuracies—in one example, an article suggested he had been recalled.

In one of the stories about Preston, the website pointed to a 19% spike in homelessness in San Francisco, according to a 2019 count. But the city saw a decline in overall homelessness in a more recent count conducted in 2022.

Preston, the Board of Supervisors’ lone Democratic Socialist, has served as a lightning rod for controversy since he assumed office. The supervisor said he stopped using the social media platform X, formerly called Twitter, after the site’s owner Elon Musk called for his imprisonment

Preston is vying for reelection to represent the Haight, Hayes Valley and the Tenderloin next November. He couldn’t be immediately reached for comment. 

David Sjostedt can be reached at