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Hoax Alert

Fake News: Urban Meyer NOT Cleared Of All Charges From Panel (Yet?)

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Sun, 19 Aug 2018 07:31:51 Z)

Was Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer cleared of all charges regarding his handling of domestic violence accusations against assistant coach Zac Smith? No, that's not true: the investigation hasn't made it's conclusions public yet but some joker uploaded a fake article to a prank website that said he had been cleared.

The story originated from an article published on the website nsfnews.com on August 19, 2018 titled "Urban Meyer cleared of all charges from panel" (archived here) which read:

As you may know urban Meyer been on paid administrative leave for accusations from former WR coach Zac Smith , Courtney smith Zac smiths former ex wife , in allegations in 2015 for not reporting to urban Meyer domestic violence isssues and other charges pertaining to his personal life , as u all know , they hired a panel of investigators to research all of the evidence and talk to everyone involved in this matter , well Sunday aug 19th was gonna conclude this matter. Aug 18th at 5:43pm the panel has found Urban Meyer Cleared of any involvement in this matter . We will start off 2018 Football season with coach Urban Meyer to bring the Buckeyes to 2018 National Championship .

Screenshot of https://www.nsfnews.com/5b789c046ac46/urban-meyer-cleared-of-all-charges-from-panel.html

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!

We wrote about nsfnews.com before, here are our most recent articles that mention 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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