Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past year, you’ll be well aware that “Fake News” has become one of the most controversial issues facing society. 2016 was the year that Fake News truly went mainstream, with Facebook and Twitter being flooded with hundreds of stories on a daily basis that were completely invented. In this special report, we take a look back at the stories that completely fooled almost everyone.
1. Man wearing clown mask ‘killed by landmine’ after being chased by villagers
This story, published by the Times of Cambodia, came after a series of (real) sightings of people in creepy clown costumes throughout the United States and other countries. With the trend of people wearing clown masks increasing, it was only a matter of time before Fake News writers cooked up a story involving a grisly end for one of the pranksters.
The article didn’t disappoint, with the claim that a man wearing a clown mask had been chased from a town by a group of villagers wielding machetes – straight into one of Cambodia’s notorious uncleared landmine fields – where he was promptly detonated and exploded into fine chunks by a landmine. The story racked up over 70,000 shares on Facebook and was reported as fact by a number of major British newspapers.