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Hoax Alert

Fake News: Red Lobster NOT To Build New Restaurant on Hamilton's Westside

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Sun, 12 Aug 2018 21:40:40 Z)

Is a Red Lobster restaurant coming to Hamilton's Westside in Ohio? No, that's not true: a prank claiming this was the case was published on a pranking website but it is not true. The fake article didn't even spell the name of the restaurant chain right.

The prank appeared as an article published on August 12, 2018 on nsfnews.com titled "Red Lobsters to build new restaurant on Hamilton's Westside" (archived here) which opened:

It's been nearly 40 years in the making and dozens of endless rumours, but Red Lobsters is finally coming to the Westside of Hamilton, Ohio say's a representatives of Golden Gate Capital.
"We've passed Hamilton over several times in the past, but we will be breaking ground later this fall on one of our biggest restaurants to date." Location of the estimated 4.2 million dollar super restaurant will be disclosed in a few weeks, but the buzz generated around town already has Hamiltonians pondering.

Screenshot of https://www.nsfnews.com/5b6f8032ad601/red-lobsters-to-build-new-restaurant-on-hamilton-s-westside.html

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail and they might have confused it for a real news article:

Red Lobsters to build new restaurant on Hamilton's Westside

It's been nearly 40 years in the making and dozens of endless rumours, but Red Lobsters is finally coming to the Westside of Hamilton, Ohio say's a representatives of Golden Gate Capital. We've passed Hamilton over several times in the past, but we will be breaking ground later this fall on one of our biggest restaurants to date. Location of the estimated 4.2 million dollar super restaurant will be disclosed in a few weeks, but the buzz generated around town already has Hamiltonians pondering.

But the site that published the story is a prank website where users can submit their own headline, description and photo to create realistic looking prank news articles.

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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.

Each site in the network comes with a disclaimer (sometimes translated into a different language) that reads:

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

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

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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
  • Red Lobsters to build new restaurant on Hamilton's Westside

    It's been nearly 40 years in the making and dozens of endless rumours, but Red Lobsters is finally coming to the Westside of Hamilton, Ohio say's a representatives of Golden Gate Capital. We've passed Hamilton over several times in the ... -- https://www.nsfnews.com
    • 4299 likes (1/hr)
    • 0 comments (0/hr)

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