It was a busy week for fake news websites and hoaxters in general. Today we’ll recap some of the most popular fake stories making the rounds this week.
What Was Fake This Week
Caitlyn Jenner hasn’t decided to become Bruce Jenner again. Caitlyn Jenner is a favorite topic of tabloids and fake news sites, and an aging rumor hit its stride this week which suggests that the former Bruce Jenner has decided to detransition back to a man. This rumor has circulated for months and no such report has been traced back to the Jenner camp. After Star magazine published the rumor as a cover story in December, the low-brow fake news website Huzlers jumped on the bandwagon and regurgitated the same bogus claims.
There is no “8 Mile 2” planned. Yet another fake news story hit pay dirt this week in which we read that Eminem has signed on to create a sequel to the movie 8 Mile, called 8 Mile 2. That fake report comes from bogus “news” site ThePortlyGazelle. Many excited fans shared the story before fact-checking the source.
Fake coupons are rampant on social media. If you see a post which claims any business is celebrating its anniversary and plans to give away coupons for free stuff, you should be suspicious. If the domain ends in .xyz, you should be very suspicious. We’ve seen these bogus coupons circulating in the name of such companies as Food King, Costco, and even Sharpie. If you fall for one of these bogus posts, you’ll find yourself taking surveys and even signing up for stuff you didn’t want in the first place… and you’ll never get the coupon promised in the first place.
A Nazi sub wasn’t discovered in the Great Lakes. Using a photo of a decommissioned Russian sub, fake news site World News Daily Report would have us believe that a Nazi submarine was recently found at the bottom of Lake Ontario. Creating fanciful archaeological discoveries is a common theme among many of these faux news sites, and no such sub was actually found.
More fake news making the rounds. pic.twitter.com/hpo7IJgnom
— Waffles At Noon (@wafflesatnoon) February 21, 2016
Sanders supporters probably didn’t chant “English only.” When Hillary Clinton supporter Dolores Huerta offered to provide a Spanish translation at the Nevada Democratic caucus on February 20, she claims that Sanders supporters chanted “English only!”
— Dolores Huerta (@DoloresHuerta) February 20, 2016
Video from the event doesn’t corroborate this claim, and actress Susan Sarandon, who was in attendance, also refuted the claim.
— Susan Sarandon (@SusanSarandon) February 21, 2016
BuzzFeed claims that two witnesses backed Huerta’s story, although she later clarified her claim, stating that it was heard among general yelling and may have been one or more people.
Trump quoted an apocryphal story about General Pershing killing Muslims. At a rally in South Carolina, Donald Trump told a story of a U.S. general who supposedly executed 49 Muslim prisoners with bullets dipped in pigs’ blood. After killing all but one prisoner, he supposedly let the last prisoner go to tell his people what happened. The story, however, is considered apocryphal, and Marco Rubio called the incident “bizarre.”
A woman didn’t have 14 kids by 14 dads. Another fake World News Daily Report post claimed that a woman had set a record by giving birth to fourteen children with fourteen different fathers. The photo used was of a woman who gave birth to her first child in 2015, who told the press that the story had “taken a toll on me emotionally.”