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Hoax Alert

Fake News: St Paul's Cathedral NOT Turned 360 Degrees By Unidentified Perpetrators Overnight

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Mon, 26 Mar 2018 18:17:55 Z)

Was St Paul's Cathedral, a famous London landmark, rotated 360 degrees by pranksters during the night? Or perhaps even by 720 degrees? Nope, not at all. The story isn't true and is just an English version of a German satire article published in 2013.

The English version appeared on March 26, 2018 on The Postillon and was titled "St Paul's Cathedral turned 360 degrees by unidentified perpetrators overnight" (archived here) which opened:

London (dpo) - What a cheek! Last night, the famous St Paul's cathedral in central London was gently loosened from its foundations, slightly lifted and then turned by exactly 360 degrees. For the time being, the culprits remain unknown. The crime had obviously been planned a long time in advance, as it was highly professionally executed, leaving practically no trace. The question as to why this iconic church was turned around remains unresolved. However, there are some strong indications that the whole thing was a prank.

It is indeed a prank: a prank article!

Screenshot of http://www.the-postillon.com/2018/03/St-pauls-turned-360-degrees.html

Here is the German original from 2013, which was about the Dom in Cologne being rotated by 360 degrees:

Kölner Dom von Unbekannten über Nacht um 360 Grad gedreht

Was für eine Frechheit! Unbekannte haben vergangene Nacht den Kölner Dom aus seiner Verankerung gelöst, leicht angehoben und um exakt 360 Grad gedreht. Die Tat war offensichtlich von langer Hand geplant, wurde ...

As anyone with a minimum of geometry knowledge knows: rotating something by 360 degrees just means it is back in the original position. For example this post was rotated 360 degrees before publication and we bet you didn't notice it either.

We wrote about the-postillon.com last week too when they had a viral hit with another satirical story:

The Postillon has a disclaimer on it's FAQ page that reads:

1. Are these true news and stories?
No, everything you can read here is satire and therefore all made-up. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

The site is the English version of the German original der-postillon.com, another well-known satire website.

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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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