The Hobbit Got A Kid Suspended: 6 BS Stories That Went Viral
By now, every possible combination of the words "Jon Stewart," "Brian Williams," and "fake news" has been turned into a joke by news sites -- who are seemingly unaware of the rich irony in those same sites reacting to these events in the typical hyperbolic, often hypocritical fashion we've come to expect.
A headline lying about being a list of lies? Very meta, Business Insider.
So, here we are, yet again, with six stories that prove Internet news has not lost its charming habit of being 10 times worse than any embellishing anchorman.
Please Stop Reporting "Measles Parties" (Before They Actually Start Happening)
Anti-vaxxers (the ironically futuristic-sounding name for people who oppose the basic science of vaccines) have such an astounding combination of gullibility and privilege that it's almost majestic to watch them speak. This aggressive ignorance is why, in the midst of a measles outbreak, it's important for the media to keep calm and avoid giving the Jenny McCarthys of the world more ammunition. Like, for example:
... or real.
Holy shit, that's a thing? Huffington Post, CBS, Salon, ABC, and Fox claim that anti-vaxxer parents are sending their children to chickenpox-style play dates with kids who have measles, because apparently dying when you're a kid is way less dangerous than dying in adulthood. So what do these dopes have to say for themselves? Nothing, because they don't exist. There isn't a single known case of this actually happening.
The entire story came from one woman telling a radio host that another parent asked her in passing if she wanted to give her kids the measles. From that single offer (which the mother turned down) we got "PARENTS EVERYWHERE ARE HOLDING MEASLES PARTIES!" screamed at us with the excited fury of a media hell-bent on fueling shame toward anti-vaxxers while simultaneously introducing them to a brand-new stupid thing they can start doing. Thanks!
A "Feminist" Didn't Abort Her Baby Because He's a Boy
As a gentle reminder, dear people of the Internet (especially you, dashing gentleman about to leave a comment), feminism is defined as "a doctrine advocating social, political, and economic rights for women equal to those of men." Well, shit, how could anyone argue against that? Easy: Find an example of someone horrible who says they believe in it and go from there. And if you can't find that person, just invent them:
Extra garbage points to the sites that didn't put quotes around "feminist."
The only thing that would make that headline more aggressively baiting is if she smuggled in illegal gay immigrants at the time of the procedure. Huffington Post, Daily Caller, Inquisitr, Elite Daily, and Metro all reported this incredibly inciting story about a devoted man-hater who got pregnant (somehow), was shocked to find out her baby would be the wrong gender, and gleefully pulled the plug. The source? A rinky blog that was created the same day the story was posted, contained numerous nonsensical details (a dangerous late-term abortion went off "without a hitch"?), and required sharing the article on social media before you could read it. Sounds legit!
Shockingly, when the BBC decided to contact the administrator of the website, he refused to give his last name and told them the woman was in India with no cellphone reception. Yeah, that's the ticket. When they finally tracked her down, their call was cut off the moment they asked a question. Presumably, she was too busy making a soup from the testicles of good men to talk.
Don't Believe Any Headlines About Crazy Foreigners and Their Smartphones
Nothing makes us feel better about our own terrible habits than learning that, somewhere out there, there's a country full of wacky people doing it even worse. For example, did you know that in Japan, "high school girls put in seven to 15 hours a day on their phones"?
Maybe they're just trying to get away from all the [mildly racist assumption].
And that's true. Yes, Japanese high school girls do spend up to 15 hours a day on their phones -- in the sense that, as sites besides Jezebel reported, only 10 percent of them claimed to do that. That's 10 percent of the high-schoolers who filled out an online survey of 618 children between ages 10 and 18, by the way. But, in a country of 127 million people, fewer than 60 girls saying they do something is totally noteworthy enough for Business Insider, RT, Yahoo, and MSN to report.
At the other end of the spectrum, we have the backwards folks of Southeast Asia, who have so little idea of how their phones work that millions of them apparently think Facebook is some sort of magical entity just floating in the air, according to Quartz, Smithsonian Magazine, and Elite Daily:
This does explain all the drunken photos.
Adorable! And inaccurate! The "millions" ballpark came from an anecdotal report from a think-tank employee who noticed that slightly more Indonesians claim to use Facebook than the Internet, an interesting result that raises a legitimate question about how people think about and use the Internet. Quartz took that and conducted their own (1,000-person, confusingly worded) poll to confirm it, resulting in the misleading headlines you see above. Now, there most likely are Facebook users out there who think it exists outside the Internet, but we're guessing most of them are under 7 and using it exclusively to play Candy Witch Farmers Alliance or whatever.
Parents Complaining About Their Kids' Suspensions Are Terrible Sources
Being a teacher means dealing with hordes of loud-mouthed emotion-balls who are impervious to logic -- also known as "parents." On the other hand, it's them we have to thank for wonderful headlines like these:
Inviting the other kids to see all 200 hours of The Hobbit could also be considered a terroristic threat.
Wow. Schools these days, right? And you know it must be true, because it was reported by everyone -- MSN, CBS, Huff Post, Washington Post, UPI, CNET, Daily Caller, and Fox. None of which are technically incorrect in their reporting, but what they did do was take one father's complaint against his kid's school and turn it into a newsworthy tale, because that could never backfire, right?
Oh, hey, and if you're wondering: The family later came forward to admit that the kid wasn't suspended for "using magic" but rather for telling his classmate that he was going to put "rings around his neck and hoped he died."
"YOU SHALL NOT PASS (fourth grade)."
This shit happens every time a school is publicly shamed for being "overly PC" or suspending a kid for some seemingly innocent action. Case in point:
"I meant the Communist Bible, Karl Marx's collected works."
"Ah, carry on, then."
Outrageous! Never mind that the school has no record of this happening -- it's already in print and on CBS, Fox, and Yahoo and is therefore true. The news continually falls for these stories despite every one of them originating from the guilty kid's clearly unbiased parents shouting about how their little angel has been wronged. Meanwhile, schools aren't legally allowed to publicly call out children as being the little liar-mouthed cockroaches we all know and love them to be, and are stuck having to suck a big PR dick instead.
Using Emojis Doesn't Improve Your Sex Life
Most people know emojis as those stupid-cute little visual blurbs that young people dig and your mother might awkwardly text to you once a day. Well, according to a study reported by Medical Daily, Complex, USA Today, Independent, and Mashable, it turns out that your sweet mother is a fully blown, Grade-A sex beast:
With ... with adults? Please confirm.
Before you cut and paste that lady with her hand up a hundred times into your phone, though, you should know that the brave folks over at the Washington Post did the unthinkable by actually reading the study, only to find out that the Match.com survey's results don't in any way draw that conclusion. Instead, it's the classic case of correlation vs. causation that the Internet loves oh so much to ignore. In other words, it simply points out that the group of people who use emojis also happen to be getting their fuck on more often -- presumably because they are younger (and more sexually active) or a hussy (like your mother). You could just as easily do this with anything popular with the youngsters and get the exact same kind of correlation every time.
So you don't have to memorize every Iggy Azalea lyric after all. You're welcome.
A Jewish Leader Wasn't "Locked Inside" Auschwitz Overnight
Back in January, Auschwitz celebrated 70 years of being prisoner-free, only to have that streak seemingly broken in the same ironic breath:
But look on the upside: not a single "OUCH-WITZ" headline pun.
Fucking oof. Naturally, a prominent Jewish figure being imprisoned in the only place most likely to have a "this building has gone X days without committing a global atrocity" sign on the wall is a big, big story. That's probably why The Guardian, HuffPo, Telegraph, RT, Express, and Breitbart all reported on Italian Jewish leader Riccardo Pacifici's outraged tweets describing how, while attempting to leave the Auschwitz museum with a TV crew, they found themselves locked in overnight. They were then detained for attempting to escape, because holy shit it's Auschwitz.
And they were ... forced to watch Keanu Reeves movies?
Only problem? The security footage from that evening showed that Pacifici's crew actually wrapped up before they were supposed to and didn't wait for the guards that were coming to let them out, as CNN found out when they actually asked the museum for their side of the story. The crew then attempted to Steve McQueen out via the visitors center ... which housed all the cash registers and therefore gave the guards ample reason to detain someone breaking in. Apparently, just because you're a prominent religious figure doesn't mean you can't be Mr. Bean.
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