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Hoax Alert

Fake News: Nairobi Restaurant NOT Shut Down For Selling Human Meat

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Thu, 10 May 2018 22:08:43 Z)

Was a restaurant in Nairobi shut down for selling human meat? No, that's not true: a site has copied an old internet hoax and changed the place it supposedly happened in. There is no truth to the story at all.

The Nairobi version originated from an article published on May 10, 2018 by a site named K24 Mediamax under the headline "Nairobi Restaurant shutdown for selling human meat - K24" (archived here) which went like this:

A restaurant in Eastleigh area, Nairobi has been closed down after its activities of selling human flesh came to the knowledge of local leaders.
Police were informed about the restaurant's activities by local leaders and residents, where they rushed to the scene and were shocked to see two human heads; still fresh, oozing blood.
The blood was being drained into a polythene bag, perhaps going to be served as a different delicacy.
The police arrested six women and four men in connection with the crime.
At the time of arrest, they managed to recover an AK-47 rifle while other weapons including sets of grenades, and several mobile phones.
"Every time I went to the market, I observed strange activities going on in the hotel. People who were never cleanly dressed and who looked a bit strange made their way in and out of the hotel, making me very suspicious of their activities. I am not surprised at the shocking revelation," said one of the residents.
A local priest was taken aback by the revelations and couldn't come into terms with having consumed human flesh. He reported to the police how he unknowingly ate human meat.
"I had gone to the restaurant early in the morning for breakfast. I finished my meal and was served with the bill, only to be shocked by the kshs.1000 charged.
The attendant noticed my reaction and told me it was the small piece of meat I had eaten that made the bill scale that high. I did not know I had been served with human meat, and that it was that expensive," he said.
Last week, Australian chef Marcus Volke murdered and cooked his girlfriend before killing himself. In Brazil, also last week, a man and two women were arrested for murdering potential nannies and then cooking their flesh into empanadas.

Screenshot of http://www.k24-news.com/nairobi-restaurant-shutdown-for-selling-human-meat/

The entire story matches exactly, detail for detail, with earlier stories about a restaurant in Malta, a restaurant in Namibia and a restaurant in Brunei. The sites those stories were published on were all part of a large network of fake news websites that often reused the same hoaxes but set in different countries. After a recent investigation by Lead Stories revealed the network was being run out of Ghana it suddenly shut down:

Global Fake News Network Responsible For Dozens of Death Hoaxes Shuts Down After Ghana Connections Revealed | Lead Stories

STORY UPDATED: check for updates below. On April 17, 2018 former First Lady Barbara Bush passed away but a full day earlier an article prematurely announcing her death from a website pretending to be CNN managed to rack up a combined 2.3 million likes, shares and comments on Facebook.

It is unclear at the time of writing if this new site is part of the same network. Whois information for the site seems to indicate it is run from Kenya:

Domain Name: k24-news.com
Updated Date: 2018-02-13T20:55:01Z
Creation Date: 2018-02-13T20:55:00Z
Registrar Registration Expiration Date: 2019-02-13T20:55:00Z
Registrant Name: Periz Kioko
Registrant Organization:
Registrant Street: [email protected]
Registrant City: Nairobi
Registrant State/Province: Kenya
Registrant Postal Code: 03100
Registrant Country: KE
Registrant Phone: +254.708744157

It seems to have been registered only three months ago but didn't go down with the rest of the network. It might just be a former network collaborator or an imitator striking out on his own. The pattern of picking a domain name that can easily be confused with a real news website certainly seems to be the same (http://www.mediamaxnetwork.co.ke/livestream/ is the actual K24 TV station).

We're going to keep an eye on this one!

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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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