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Hoax Alert

Fake News: Man Did NOT Kill Himself After Being Unexpectedly Disconnected From The Fortnite Server When He Was About To Win

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Tue, 20 Mar 2018 21:20:33 Z)

Did a gamer named Darren Martinez kill himself after unexpectedly being disconnected from the Fortnite game server just as he was about to win? Nope, that's fake news and didn't really happen.

Satire website 8shit.net published an article on March 20, 2018 titled "Man Kills Himself After Being Unexpectedly Disconnected From Fortnite Server When He Was About To Win" (archived here) which opened:

Darren Martinez has killed himself yesterday afternoon after being unexpectedly disconnected from a Fortnite server when he was about to win the match. His friend, Ahmad Rodriguez, who was in call with him, reports the details.

"He was playing and he was doing just fine. He was a pro player, so he was able to handle every match under any conditions", his friend said in tears to our reporter Gary Cockburn. He kept going: "He was about to win the match already, and he was chilling because he knew he was gonna win. But then, it happened, he got disconnected".

This is the second Fortnite-related death hoax the site published in only a few days. The previous one claimed a man had stabbed his friend to death over the game, that one was also not true.

Screenshot of https://www.8shit.net/man-kills-himself-after-being-unexpectedly-disconnected-from-fortnite-server-when-he-was-about-to-win/

Fortnite is a co-op sandbox survival game developed by Epic Games and People Can Fly which was published in the summer of 2017. According to Wikipedia "Fortnite has up to four players cooperating on various missions on randomly-generated maps to collect resources, build fortifications around defensive objectives".

Users on social media who only saw this title, description and thumbnail might easily confuse this story for a real news report:

Man Kills Himself After Being Unexpectedly Disconnected From Fortnite Server When He Was About To Win

Darren Martinez has killed himself yesterday afternoon after being unexpectedly disconnected from a Fortnite server when he was about to win the match. His friend, Ahmad Rodriguez, who was in call with him, reports the details. "He was playing and he was doing just fine. He was a pro player, so he was able to [...]

But 8shit.net carries a disclaimer on its about page that reads:

8Shit is a satire and humor website.

It contains cutting edge satire on a diverse range of topics.

The website publishes fake news, shocking rumors and reports with incisive sarcasm, and humor.

We also post crazy real news which often sounds too good to be true.

And an additional disclaimer in the footer of every page:

8Shit is a satire news and humor website. All its content is fiction (except those posts under the "serious" category) and shouldn't be taken as real. All references, names and marks or institutions in this website are used as contextual elements, like in any novel or science-fiction story.

Since this post was made in the 'Society' section it was clearly intended as satire.

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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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