Men Catcalled Their Own Moms: 6 Viral Stories That Were BS
If our eternal news-checking series has taught us anything, it's that nobody's perfect. Old salts like CNN can screw the pooch just as hard as web-born companies trying to tackle a story first instead of making sure to tackle it correctly. We get that. This is probably why up-and-comer Vox -- which proudly calls themselves a "new kind of news site" -- has fucked up stories at least 46 times in the 10 months it's been around.
While that is hilariously awful, grossly misunderstanding a story is still infinitely better than lazily choosing not to explore it past a single grabby headline in exchange for ad revenue -- as seems to be the case with the following willfully misinterpreted news stories ...
That Video of Men Catcalling Their Mothers Is Faaaaaaaake
"Social experiment" videos are a great idea when done genuinely, but not everyone has time to walk around New York for 10 hours to showcase the problems with street harassment. Luckily, there's another handy trick called "just faking it" -- because nothing says "we want to shed light on a serious and totally real problem" better than hiring actors to re-create scumbaggery in exchange for completely subverting your message. And now this happened:
Spoiler: no, they won't.
The video, featuring undercover mothers shaming their pervert spawn, probably should have been red-flagged on account of it being funded by Everlast (a company that makes violent clown gloves) instead of some awareness group. Well, that and the fact that they flat-out said it was fake from the start. Instead, sites like Jezebel, E Online, and Styleite amazingly interpreted it as the real thing, with several sites like International Business Times and Daily Mail going the extra nonsense mile of crediting a Peruvian TV show for the footage while others buried the fakeness far past the point where the reader would give a shit. MTV bravely concluded at the end of their article about it, "Staged or not, it gets the message across." Nice work, fake video! You solved street harassment forever!
"And, cut! Good job, everyone. But can you angrily curse his future children next take?
It'll really help sell the disownment."
Don't Believe Anything You Hear About the McPizza
Like Sauron's One Ring, the McPizza remains a dark specter once cast out by the righteous -- always lurking in the whispers of the abyss, waiting for the moment ... when mankind is at its weakest ...
It's here! After its discontinuation in 2000 (along with the horrifying McSpaghetti), the McPizza simply hid in the one place it knew nobody would ever look: West Virginia. This is all coming from an article from the acclaimed Canada.com, which quoted an 11-year employee as saying that the local chain sold pizza that was "presumably the same that children everywhere enjoyed throughout the 1990s."
"If you spent your childhood hunched over a toilet, retching up rancid pepperoni
and moldy cheese, you were totally a '90s kid."
This broad assumption was clearly enough for Time, BGR, Thrillist, Yahoo, RYOT, and everyone on Twitter to declare the McPizza alive again. Everyone got on board. Well, except for McDonald's, who told another Canadian news site that, while these chains sold their own pizza, it was not the apparently beloved McPizza from yesteryear. Yes, McPizza is still trapped in the McUnderworld, along with other discontinued novelties like the Arch Deluxe and Mayor McCheese, who is frozen in a lake of Satan's tears for his sins in life.
A Google Exec Didn't Say the Internet Will Disappear
Predicting the "end of the Internet" is usually reserved for hyperbolic headlines about the NSA or FCC -- so it's understandably surprising to see RT, Digital Journal, Tech Times, Uproxx, and The Hollywood Reporter announce that a top Google executive just said this:
When a company with giant ocean lairs and a robot army is doomsaying the web, then it's probably a good time to start saving all that porn to a hard drive. That is, unless all these websites are purposely taking this quote out of context just to drive traffic. But what are the odds of that?
Motherfuckers. So, yeah -- the Internet will "disappear," but only in the way that is the complete opposite of what the headlines are implying -- in that we'll have so much goddamn Internet that we won't notice it. Instead of headlining with that very cool idea, everyone took his intentionally misleading hook, reacted to it out of context, and then sometimes clarified somewhere in the article. It's like running a headline saying "Obama ate a dog!" and then clarifying in the text that it was a hot dog (unless we're talking about that time that Obama totally ate a dog).
Everyone Shut Up About Blake Lively's Baby's Name
Between their honed talents and incessant need to show them off in exchange for money, celebrities are major assholes. Luckily, a lot of them are also insane -- and we get to make fun of them for that. Just check out crazy idiot Blake Lively, who has apparently decided to ruin her infant daughter's newly received life:
"Wally" for short.
Hilarious! Sure, the kid is going to grow up rich, but at the price of being ostracized her whole life and possibly even dying alone. It's a win-win all around. So how did she even come up with that name? We'll let Gawker explain ...
"I've also got a brand-new Dildo in the other room."
Oh. Gawker literally just made up the story by randomly changing the punctuation from an interview with People. Since "You gotta come see my new " is how people talk about newborns, it was only a matter of time before someone broke that code. From there, the "story" was jumped on by Cosmo, Movie News Guide, and Break -- all reporting the crazy child name and not simply running "Wuxtry Wuxtry Hack Blog Just Makes Shit Up," like they should have.
Having an iPhone Doesn't Mean You're Smarter
The stereotype of the smug, hipster-glasses Apple fan seems very 2012 at this point -- especially now that the people making that criticism have since switched to using an iPhone. On the other hand, maybe there is hope after all, if this totally horseshit conclusion is any indication ...
"Also, link between education and writing stories like this."
That's right, idiot -- want your kid to grow up and make that sweet NASA money to pay for your drug habit? Steal him an iPhone while he's young, because according to one study (as well as IGN, CNN, and CBS) people who use Apple products are noticeably smarter than those knuckleheads groping their Androids. At least, if you trust the scientific leaders over at the advertising company that conducted the study, which found that states with more college graduates also had a higher amount of iPhone sales.
They then wasted all this intellectual superiority on yet another slew of goddamn selfies.
But what about the fact that states with higher education levels tend to have a higher income level, and therefore are more likely to buy the most expensive (Apple produced) smartphone, you ask? Good question -- you're officially smarter than the publications that reported on the study, which completely wrote off the fact that there was a relationship between median income and iPhone usage as well, even though it specifically mentions that in the study. In other words, go ahead and return that iPhone you stole and start saving college money instead.
No One Is Freaking Out Over Willow Smith's "Topless Photo" (Except the Media)
All right -- so far we've covered the news fabricating a study's results, weird celebrity baby names, an upcoming disaster, '90s nostalgia, and a fake viral video. Clearly, we need an "Internet outrage" to balance out this playlist. Extra points if it comes with good ol' American underage boobs to get those Miley Cyrus clicks ...