Women Are Dyeing Their Armpits and 5 Other BS Viral Stories
With CNN's Don Lemon asking a rape victim why she didn't bite Bill Cosby's penis and comparing hitting children to animal training, there sure are a lot of reasons for protesters to shout "Fuck CNN" on live television. Especially when Lemon is also writing them off as "obviously" smelling of weed.
But as we've pointed out more than enough times on Cracked, the lovable simpleton Lemon isn't the only reporter perpetually bastardizing the news. Not when every week we have to debunk a new bullshit viral story, such as all the ones here:
"Hand Dryers Are Spreading Germs," Says Paper Towel Company
Cracked is all about pointing it out when a popular health or safety measure is actually being counter-productive, so under most circumstances the following headlines would be our main jam:
Or use fact-checking again, apparently.
According to a recent study shared by ABC News, NY Mag, Gizmodo, and even WebMD, it turns out that hand dryers spread the germs of unwashed hands more than paper towels. Why someone who didn't wash their hands would stick them in a hand blower is unclear, but whatever. The point is that these things are a menace and we should all go back to using paper towels instead. Also, coincidentally, this study is being funded by the European Tissue Symposium -- a collective organization of paper-tissue producers and lamest Bond villain group ever.
Wait, they have a picture of trees on their site! We take it back; they can't be evil!
Meanwhile, the Dyson Company claims that the research was done with "unrealistically high levels of bacteria" and on gloved hands, making the results useless. Unless, of course, you're an extreme germaphobe who wears gloves all day, or Dr. Colossus from The Simpsons.
Who's right? We'd rather not take a side in what is clearly just a PR war between two companies (though a microbiologist did agree that the study was flawed) ... but just in case, we're sticking with the old "discreetly drying your hands on your pants as you walk out" technique.
There's No Proof That E-Cigarettes Give Your Computer Malware
There's still a lot to be determined about the safety of e-cigarettes, like whether they really do any damage to your health or whether it's humanly possible to smoke them without looking like a giant dork. So, obviously, the last thing the media should do is spread panic before collecting all the facts and ... oh, never mind.
Now comes the hardest decision of all: cancer or lose your ability to browse porn?
Well, it's official: not only are e-cigarettes maybe probably going to kill you but they'll kill your computer as well! At least we assume it's official, because The Guardian, Digital Trends, Yahoo, IBTimes, The Wall Street Journal, NBC, and the Washington Post wouldn't just report on total hearsay, right? So where did they get their information?
Yep, fuck off. This international tale of vapor-induced malware came from our old friend Random Anonymous Person on Reddit claiming that an e-cigarette charger ruined his boss' computer. That is, as of now, the only recorded instance of this happening. You can tell most of these news stories are copied, pasted, and hastily reworded from each other because they all call Reddit a "social news site," as opposed to "90 percent anonymous people making shit up."
As for why this story would take off in the first place, it might have something to do with the fact that the Trojan smokes supposedly come from China and, as we've covered numerous times before, our collective bullshit detectors tend to malfunction whenever we see the word "Chinese" in a headline.
Ladies Dyeing Their Armpit Hair Isn't a Brand-New Beauty Craze
Show of hands: how many of you give a shit about what women do with their armpit hair? Time, NY Post, The Gloss, StyleList, and Cosmopolitan sure the fuck do:
Not to be confused with "armpits that smell like they died."
According to Time, this new craze was kicked off by a blog post about dyeing armpit hair that got lots of Facebook shares this September, which was apparently enough to convince every young woman in the country to give it a try. Depending on which comment section you're reading, this is either an empowering beauty trend or some kind of Obama-led femtalitarianism technicolor banner. We're not sure about that, but what this definitely isn't is "new" or a "craze," because most of the photos of rainbow armpits that these articles are showing you ...
"So ... do drapes match the handtow- uh, pillow sha- uh ... ?"
... are actually nine months to years old. Ground zero of this story is an LA Times filler piece covering the aforementioned blog post and declaring that it must be a trend, their evidence being exactly 24 dyed armpits on Instagram and a handful of recent ones on Tumblr. If that qualifies as a hot trend, then we guess "wearing your hair like Macklemore" is officially an epidemic.
So even though you can find just as many examples of people dyeing their pits back in 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, or even the dark ages of 2008, surely this is a brand-new thing because the grumpy old uncle of the Internet (the media) just heard about it.
Budweiser Isn't Replacing the Clydesdales With Jay-Z and Zombies
Depending on your age, Budweiser will remind you of different things: for some it's the "Bud-weis-er" frogs, for others it's "WASSUP!" and for most it's "Why am I drinking Budweiser?" But if there's one thing that's remained constant across the decades, it's the classic Clydesdale horses the company has used in its ads since the 1930s ... until now, apparently.
No disrespect to Jay-Z, but he doesn't look strong enough to pull that beer wagon.
In a groundbreaking corporate shake-up, it appears that the natural connection between large horses and getting watery drunk at your uncle's BBQ is no longer a thing. That's at least according to Entertainment Tonight, Epic Times, Slate, and Washington Times, who assure us that the Bud horses are as good as glue. Naturally, this caused a mini shitstorm from the Twitter champions who suddenly started giving a shit about equestrian advertising.
Clearly, this is the most outrageous thing that's happened in America in the past month.
That's right, even Kylie Jenner News had a dog in the fight, forcing Budweiser to finally make a statement ... saying they had no goddamn clue what people were up in arms about. The Clydesdales aren't going anywhere. The confusion started with a (now corrected) Wall Street Journal article headline that falsely implied Jay-Z was permanently replacing the horses just because he's starring in some Christmas ads -- and since Bud did an ad featuring zombies this past Halloween, clearly they must be part of the new corporate image too. As we're now realizing, not even other news sites bother to read past the headline before hitting the share button.
Pet Massages Aren't on the Rise
These days the average American pet not only has way cooler names than us but better healthcare options than at least most of the South. And as if to make matters more insulting, it now appears they're more relaxed to boot ...
Before you sign up: the pets are the ones getting massaged, not the other way around. Sorry.
According to USA Today, Huffington Post, Daily Mail, and SFGate, more and more Americans are throwing down to have little "Jon Meow" or "Arya Bark" get rubbed down by a liberal-arts major to relieve all the stress that comes with being a useless carpet turd. The articles even cite a report by the American Pet Products Association claiming that owners are spending $4.4 billion on this junk -- "this junk" meaning "pet services" in general, like boarding and grooming, which we guess also counts massages.
Also, while these numbers sure are rising, that's only because pet industry expenses in general are rising with them:
How much of that is canine "happy endings" remains undetermined.
Using our fancy Actually Reading the Article technology, we found out that this story is really about three "pet masseuses" in Arizona being told to cut that shit because they're not licensed veterinarians, which prompted them to sue the state board in return. That's it: three people doing this job in the entire state. Apparently, some hungover reporter decided this wasn't interesting enough and came up with the bullshitty "pet massage is now a billion-dollar industry" angle.
Tech Bros Aren't Trying to Make Vaginas Smell Better
The tech industry is a stereotypically sexist gig, so it's not hard to believe it when Daily Dot, The Guardian, Gawker, and Independent run headlines that sound like they are from some kind of dystopian clone brothel:
This Weird Science reboot sounds awful.
Being misogynistic has never been so innovative! According to the story, the creators of this "personalized probiotics" company presented the idea at this year's DEMO conference as a supplement designed to change the scent of women's down-there parts to suit male preferences -- because who doesn't get a raging erection when smelling fruit? This impressively sexist notion got legs in the media before someone bothered to look into the vagina-altering company in question ... only to discover that the CEO is actually a 20-year-old female college student who invented the probiotic as a swab to prevent yeast infections. So, it's less about making lady junk smell like California exports and more about creating an important health tool.
Apparently, these would-be Willy Wonkas of snatch had so little to do with the company that only one of them owned just 10 percent of the equity, and he felt that this 10 percent was enough to lord over the product. Meanwhile, the media ironically called them sexists while never bothering to question the obvious authority of two jackass men.
B.S. News got you down? Tell Dave about it and he just might tell the world!
And while you're here, check out Cracked's previous installment of B.S. News That Went Viral.