Major news agencies being fooled by satire

November 29th, 2012 by Brian Leave a reply »

Check your sources!

The China’s People’s Daily is China’s communist party’s official newspaper and this week it reposted a satirical article from The Onion about North Korea’s Kim Jong Un as if it were real. Earlier this year, The Onion ran a parody story about how some people in the United States preferred the leader of Iran (a country we have had a bunch of tension with) to President Obama and Iran’s news agency ran it as true.

Also this week, a fake press release about Google acquiring a wi-fi company had been submitted to PRWeb, a site that news agencies can get press releases from. Big tech news sites like TechCrunch took the story and ran with it because it made sense that the giant Google would buy up another company. Since the press release was fake and neither company had been in talks about a buyout, the news agencies had to provide apologies for not checking their sources.

This reminds me of when Shane Fitzgerald posted a fake quote to Wikipedia and then news agencies requoted it as if it were true.


Leave a Reply