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Hoax Alert

Fake News: Intern Who Wrote Plagiarised Melania Tweet Did NOT Die In Bizarre Accident

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Wed, 13 Jun 2018 19:50:30 Z)

Did an intern who wrote a plagiarised Melania tweet die in an accident involving a falling Xerox machine? No, that's not true: the story was made up by a relatively new fake news website which has published several death hoaxes in the past few days. It is not real, it did not happen.

The death hoax appeared in an article published on June 13, 2018 by The Honey Pot Times titled "Intern Who Wrote Plagiarised Melania Tweet Dies In Bizarre Accident" (archived here) which opened:

WASHINGTON D.C. - A 23-year-old intern named Eric A. Rice was killed this morning in a bizarre accident on H Street. He was walking on the sidewalk distracted by his phone when he tripped over a black cat and crashed into a mirror left against the front of a building by a crew of movers.

Stumbling to regain his balance he grabbed hold of a ladder the movers were using, causing one of them to lose his grip on a pulley. This resulted in the unfortunate intern being crushed to death by a 500-pound photocopier that dropped from two storeys high.

Screenshot of https://thetrojanhoneypot.wordpress.com/2018/06/13/intern-who-wrote-plagiarised-melania-tweet-dies-in-bizarre-accident/

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:

Intern Who Wrote Plagiarised Melania Tweet Dies In Bizarre Accident

WASHINGTON D.C. - A 23-year-old intern named Eric A. Rice was killed this morning in a bizarre accident on H Street. He was walking on the sidewalk distracted by his phone when he tripped ove...

But why is it not true? First of all, The Honey Pot Times has a pretty clear disclaimer:

Disclaimer & fair warning
Nothing on this site is real. It is an experiment exploring the boundaries of truth.

Do not spread, like or share any articles from this site unless you want to look like a fool.

And secondly, the tweet was not plagiarised according to research by Snopes:

FACT CHECK: Did Melania Trump Plagiarize a Memorial Day Tweet From Michelle Obama?

In 2018, Melania Trump plagiarized Michelle Obama's 2014 Memorial Day statement. On 28 May 2018, First Lady Melania Trump published a tweet for Memorial Day: On #MemorialDay we honor the many Americans who laid down their lives for our great country. As one nation under God, we come together to remember that freedom isn't free.

Finally we were unable to get confirmation from any reputable news source concerning the death on H Street of an intern from the office of the First Lady, something the Washington press would have definitely reported if it had happened

We wrote about thetrojanhoneypot.wordpress.com before, here is our most recent article that mentions the site:

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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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