The Internet has pretty much turned every news outlet into a shady cocaine dealer -- constantly upping output by cutting pure, actual news with grains of fake viral stories, recycled urban legends, and unjustified mass panic.
#5. Kim Jong Un's Uncle Was Not Eaten Alive by 120 Dogs
In what was no doubt a blessed way to start the New Year, many readers opened their browser January 1 to be treated to this coffee substitute:
"Disney hurriedly scraps plot for gritty 101 Dalmatians reboot."
That would be a headline from fucking NBC World News and not some random shit your cousin farted out on Facebook. It turns out that Kim Jong Un is only slightly crazier than we thought, because along with hanging out with Dennis Rodman, he also fed people to dogs.
The source? A single, notoriously shaky paper in Hong Kong, which, by the way, copied the story nearly word-for-word from a social media post by a popular Chinese satirist. So, OK, this was exactly like the random shit your cousin makes up on Facebook, only it ended up being reported as fact on the other side of the world. Speaking of which ...
#4. No, Facebook Isn't "Dead" Due to Teenagers Leaving It
Google+ is wanted for questioning.
The reason? Teens think it's lame, so they're moving on to other services. Or at least that's what a single study about a small group of teenagers in a specific part of London determined. As Vice points out, "Facebook is dead to some teens in London" somehow turned into "Facebook is dead to teens," and then simply "Facebook is dead," one shoddy headline at a time.
And that's without even mentioning the bigger problem with that story: How would teens leaving Facebook "kill and bury" it? If anything, it would make it more bearable by making the spelling slightly better.
#3. Iron Maiden Didn't Research Piracy for Their Concerts
In a decisive win for 15-year-olds in Guy Fawkes masks, Iron Maiden has apparently taken a huge step to legitimize the freedom fighting that is stealing shit off the Internet by basing their entire tour locations on which areas pirated their music the most.
We can think of a few reasons why this headline would have been way cooler in the '80s.
Well, not really. It turns out it all came from a single quote in the Guardian by a company called MusicMetric, which pointed out that Iron Maiden is widely pirated in certain areas they were also touring. A tech blog then took the startling revelation that bands play where they're popular and turned that into "Iron Maiden plans their tours using BitTorrent."
Guys, the median age of Iron Maiden is 57. They think "bit torrent" is a little river.
#2. The Viral "Shark" Photobomb Is Probably Just a Dolphin
If you're like us, then you probably came across this gem while endlessly scrolling Reddit drunk and alone:
We found it on r/newsphotosthatcouldbesharksbutprobablyarenot.
According to the expert analysis of the person who uploaded it to Facebook, that there shadow is of a freaking shark lurking on two children. Naturally, the media couldn't resist the opportunity to use the word "shark" in a headline as often as possible:
"Shark Shark Shark," sharked sharxpert Shark Sharkshofersson.
It was at this point that an actual expert pointed out, in very great detail, that all the evidence points to it being a dolphin. This wasn't good enough for CNN, who somehow squeezed a whole article out of "Wait, no! One of the guys from Shark Week says it could still be a shark! Don't give up the dream, people."
#1. Wow, No, O.J. Simpson Doesn't Have Brain Cancer
Take the rag away from your face, America: Now ain't the time for your tears. Earlier this month, Huffington Post, Washington Times, and International Business Times dealt this harsh blow to sports fans, Naked Gun fanboys, and wife-murder aficionados:
WHY, GOD, WHY? OK, yeah, but why else?
So what "report" is this according to, by the way?
"Bat Boy, Elvis offer their respects."
Yup. As MSN points out (while still fucking reporting it), the entire story comes from an "anonymous source" from the National Enquirer -- the same paper that broke ground exposing Oprah's terminal sickness, Brad Pitt's infidelity with Angelina, and of course this story from last July:
When asked if the story was true, an official at the Nevada Department of Corrections laughed. Granted, in this case that could still be a "yeah."