Just Because It's Trending Doesn't Mean It's True
Hoax Alert

Fake News: PETA NOT Working On Legislation To Ban Barrel Racing In 2018

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Wed, 13 Sep 2017 14:21:06 Z)

Someone used prank website react365.com to post a hoax article titled "PETA is working on legislation to ban barrel racing in 2018". It is just one paragraph long and reads:

PETA has been working over time to stop barrel racing in the United States. A rep from PETA would not return our calls at press time. Sources say they are concerned about the growing increase of injuries in barrel horses. Legislation would prohibit riders from barrel racing horses, but would support riders running the pattern on their own two feet. Horses are welcome to be spectators.

Just those last two sentences alone are a dead giveaway. But those aren't shown when the story is shared on social media, for example this is what it looks like on Facebook:

peta.jpg

React365 is a prank website where users can submit their own headline, description and photo to create realistic looking prank news articles.

react365.jpg

Users don't even need to upload their own image, there is a built-in search function that will pull an appropriate image from Google image search.

The fake barrel racing story attracted quite some attention on social media, for example on Twitter there were plenty of people who believed the story was real:

And while PETA does have some stories on its website about barrel racing there is nothing related to legislation for the year 2018 there. So get off your high horse if you were fooled by this story. Avoiding fake news on the internet is neigh impossible these days.

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About the author:

Maarten Schenk is our resident expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk
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Lead Stories uses the Trendolizer™ engine to detect the most trending stories from known fake news, satire and prank websites and tries to debunk them as fast as possible. Read more about how we work and how we select stories to check here.

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