Mark Twain once famously said that "A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes." In that spirit, here's another attempt to give the truth a head start by violently tackling the sprinting bullshit smearing your news feed ... starting with the fact that Mark Twain never said that quote.
And because easily avoidable fake articles never rest (and neither do we), we've opted to supersize your dubious news intake. Enjoy! (Or maybe despair for the state of the media for a while, and then enjoy.)
#7. Relax, Taking Naps Is Not Going to Kill You
It's time to set your coffee makers to "pod people prevention," because it turns out that your next nap ... might be your last!
Holy fuck on toast! According to CBS, Gawker, the Wire, Gothamist, the Independent, and the rest of the Internet, a new study of over 16,000 people found that those who took naps would die sooner than those who didn't, because they "can cause an inflammation in the body." All those pro-nap studies were actually lies by the corporate pro-sleep mask media machine.
But buried in all those articles, usually at the bottom, is a mention that maybe the naps aren't the silent killer here, but a symptom of some disease -- otherwise known as the real point of the study. If you look at the actual words of the researchers (and not the Daily Mail-ized version everyone copied), they specifically say, "We are unaware of any evidence to show an association between daytime napping and inflammation," which explains why Spain doesn't turn into a pile of corpses at 2:00 p.m.
#6. China Isn't Selling Canned Air Due to Rising Smog Levels
Thanks to smog, China is basically a big sauna of farts. And not unlike a putrid hotbox, some outlets have chosen to contain their coverage of it in a ridiculously obtuse shroud:
That would be the Daily Mail using their precious Internet space to tell us about China's idea to sell bottled fresh air in order to "address its dangerous smog levels." In fact, such is the demand for that sweet, sweet O2 in China that one businessman already "sold 10 million cans in just 10 days" last year. As the depressingly popular Alex Jones remarked when spreading this story, "You really cannot make this stuff up." Well, yes, you can, because it's mostly crap.
The article makes it sound like China's president personally commissioned the bottled air to fight smog. In reality, he was just joking, because of course he was, and he never mentioned China's smog problem; he was talking about ways to promote the clean-aired Guizhou Province, the same way New York City once promoted its tap water with the exact same stunt. Guizhou tourism officials did take the joke seriously and announced plans to sell canned air ... as novelty souvenirs, not a solution to an environmental crisis.
As for the businessman who sold millions of cans of fresh air in 2013, yes, that's accurate -- if you replace "sold" with "produced," "millions" with "thousands," and "fresh air" with "the fetid air from his soda factory." Basically, it was the equivalent of Mars shipping off a bunch of empty M&M packets as a publicity stunt.
"All cans are just harmless old Chinese lead."
#5. No, Ukraine Isn't Ordering Jews to Register
Most of what America knows about Ukrainian culture ranges somewhere between a Facebook meme post and that Nicolas Cage film where he snorts gunpowder. That said, we surely know a call to arms when we see one:
"Everyone gets a nice gold star sticker for participating!"
Fuuuuck that. As reported by the Washington Post, the Daily News, and USA Today, Ukraine has gone so darkly retro that it's akin to a "chilling echo of the Holocaust" -- did we learn nothing from Holocaust movies like Schindler's List and Toy Story 3? You know how it goes: First they tell Jewish people to register, then they start rounding them up in camps, and the next thing you know, we're knee-deep in World War II 2: Putin the Habit.
But wait, don't oil up your Anti-Mecha-Hitler chain guns just yet. What the news so tactfully declares is a forced registration is actually a bunch of leaflets anonymously passed around in eastern Ukraine that have since been declared a hoax -- a fact that probably should have been caught before, since the "governor's order" was full of errors like using the wrong title for the supposed governor and not including his freaking signature.
The Coordination Forum for Countering Antisemitism
Pretty sure they got that logo from Pink Floyd's The Wall.
It turns out that you just can't trust random pieces of paper handed to you on the street anymore.
#4. Pretty Much Every Random Photo the News Reports On Is Fake
We're not sure why, but at some point in 2013 society collectively succumbed to the idea that an unsourced Imgur photograph caption was not only newsworthy, but undoubtedly so at that. The fact that some sites are giving a play-by-play recap of a Reddit post about a fence and marking it as "news" is alarming enough, but it gets worse -- recently the Independent covered the story of a Reddit user discovering an underground safe in his home and cracking it open to find "someone's ashes" and a dog leash.
He was unable to open the Ziploc bag, though.
While the Independent was happy to leave this as an open-ended mystery, a more serious journalistic institution called "some random dude on the Internet" pointed out that the leash looked suspiciously similar to the one found in an earlier, unrelated photo by the original poster ...
"Holy shit! He turned his dog into a box!"
... meaning the whole thing was a hoax, because that's what happens when your news source is listed as "CraigNoList."
This is all stupid and harmless until we enter the egregious genre of service workers faking the prejudice of strangers for money and easy media attention -- the most notorious being the waitress who forged an anti-gay note on a customer's receipt, and more recently a college student who reported racist slurs on her dorm door ...
"No, that's supposed to be Michael Ian Black."
It's gotten to the point that when a pilot supposedly received a sexist note from one of her passengers, the two "related stories" that came posted with the Jezebel article were a meta-flaunting of the blatant gullibility that pre-emptively discredits any and all hate crime victims from now on. Nice work.
The site has become sentient and is begging you not to share this.