Hoax Alert

Fake News: Schools In Northern Ireland NOT Closed November 9th-20th

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Thu, 09 Nov 2017 21:45:15 Z)

Prank website Trend-News was used (probably by some kid) to post an article titled "All school in Northern Ireland closed 9th November- 20th November". The full text of the hoax read:

All schools Northern Ireland closed 9th November-20th november.
Schools with remain closed till the 20th of November due to teachers on strike.
UPDATES TO FOLLOW

We have found no reports in any reputable news source about this strike. It is not known at the time of publication if the perpetrator of the prank managed to get to stay home. But judging by the spelling and grammar of the prank it is perhaps not such a bad idea for the prankster to attend a few classes... Bad writing or not, the article managed to fool several thousand people into liking, sharing or commenting on it on Facebook today.

schoolnotclosed.jpg

Trend News is a prank website where users can submit their own headline, description and photo to create realistic looking prank news articles. All pages on the site carry following disclaimer at the bottom:

This website is an entertainment website, news are created by users. These are humourous news, fantasy, fictional, that should not be seriously taken or as a source of information.

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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 site is part of a larger network of prank sites all using the same basic layout but sometimes in different languages. It appears to be run by a Belgian company named Mediavibes or Media Vibes which is managed by a man named Nicolas Gouriou according to registration records.

So don't fall for this prank now that we've warned you about it!

Want to help stop this fake news from spreading?


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Then click here if you have Facebook or click here if you have Twitter to see who is sharing it (it might even be your friends...) and leave the link in the comments.

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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