7 Of The Craziest Fake News Stories
In 2016 fake news reached its zenith. Fake news used to just be the random email with a conspiracy theory, forwarded from a relative your whole family knows is a little off. Recently, however, fake news has generated some very real consequences. Some stories might simply make you look like an idiot when you tell your friends how solar panels are draining energy from the sun. Others have horribly misinformed millions about politics, crime, and in one case even lead a man to enter a restaurant with a gun after believing a false headline.
According to a survey conducted by Buzzfeed News and Ipsos Public Affairs, fake news has been fooling adults about 75% of the time. And honestly, it’s not hard to see why. Many fake news sites appear to be a reputable publication - like ABCNews.com.co - and millions of people blindly share these posts without reading the article. Let’s look back at some of the most bizarre fake news stories we’ve seen so far.
7) Miami-Dade to Create Freeway “Texting Lane” to Accommodate Millennial Drivers.
The Plantain published an article (perhaps as satire) that in Miami there will now be lanes with bumpers on the freeway so millennial drivers can text and drive. Kid’s love texting and driving, so I see why this ridiculous idea caught on. In fact, I’m sure some kids are reading this article while driving right now, so let’s wrap this list up quick for the safety of everyone on the road.
6) Republicans To Institute Saliva Tests to Determine if Poor People Are Hungry Before They Can Use Food Stamps
This piece is from a site called Newslo in February 2016, who claim to be a news/satire hybrid publication. A bit like the guy who professes to be a billionaire but 'can only afford to take you to McDonald’s right now' sort of person. It doesn’t make sense but you’d be surprised how many people go along with it.
5) The Creator of Pokemon Go Designed The Game To Appeal to Satanists
This was from a joke interview by the gaming site Play4Real in November 2012, but taken out of context when the game was released in the summer of 2016. Pokemon is still the same innocent cartoon about enslaving creatures and making them fight for your pleasure that it’s always been.
4) Martin Shkreli Has Been Gunned Down and Turned Into Chicken Nuggets
You can’t make this stuff up. But the site ETHyper can. Another fake news outlet called Foxnews3 asserted that the people who murdered the controversial pharmaceutical CEO, also turned his body into chicken nuggets sold at McDonalds. Categorically untrue.
3) President Obama Bans the Pledge of Allegiance From Schools
As far as political strategies are concerned this seems to be a poor one. It’s also a fake one. ABCNews.com.co, designed to look just like ABC News, published this in 2016 and received over 2 million likes, shares, and comments on Facebook months before the US Presidential Election. Yikes.
2) Trump Alleges Ted Cruz’s Father Was Involved With The Assassination of John F. Kennedy
In May 2016 on Fox and Friends, the US President tried to connect then opponent, Senator Ted Cruz involced with one of the most shocking assassinations in American history. He said that Cruz’s father was around the gunman at the time of the murder and expressed dismay that the media was not covering this. This was based on a tabloid article but was discussed on a mainstream channel as fact. In other news, Elvis was killed by Big Foot.
1) Pope Francis Endorses Donald Trump
This falsehood from Ending the Fed gained popularity fast prior to the elections. The implications are pretty huge considering a significant portion of President Trump’s base are deeply religious. Some of these are funny and harmless, but it’s important to check your sources and make sure that the information is accurate. For future reference, Buzzfeed produced a list of fake publications that were the worst offenders here.