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Hoax Alert

Fake News: San Antonio NOT To Become First City In Texas To Legalize Marijuana

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Wed, 12 Sep 2018 14:48:39 Z)

Is San Antonio in Texas legalizing pot? No, that's not true: some joker uploaded a headline saying as much to a prank website but it is not true. The website uses a misleading domain name to trick people into thinking it is CBS News but it is not.

The story originated from an article published on cbsnews.us (not cbsnews.com) September 11, 2018 titled "San Antonio to become first city in Texas to legalize Marijuana " (archived here) and simply read:

Texas legislate to pass law on marijuana legalization on 9/11/18

Screenshot of https://cbsnews.us/2018/09/11/San-Antonio-to-become-first-city-in-Texas-to-legalize-Marijuana/0U2FuIEFudG9uaW8gdG8gYmVjb21lIGZpcnN0IGNpdHkgaW4gVGV4YXMgdG8gbGVnYWxpemUgTWFyaWp1YW5hIA==.VGV4YXMgbGVnaXNsYXRlIHRvIHBhc3MgbGF3IG9uIG1hcmlqdWFuYSBsZWdhbGl6YXRpb24gb24gOS8xMS8xOA==.aHR0cHM6Ly9mYXJtNC5zdGF0aWNmbGlja3IuY29tLzM0ODUvMzg4NTA0OTIyMF8yMTFmZDhmZTFhX3ouanBn

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail so it is easy to see why many people fell for it:

San Antonio to become first city in Texas to legalize Marijuana

Texas legislate to pass law on marijuana legalization on 9/11/18

In reality some localities in Texas have passed local decriminalisation measures but all of these have strict limits on the quantities of weed involved and there are still penalties.

Texas Local Decriminalization - NORML - Working to Reform Marijuana Laws

Since 2012, over 50 localities in a dozen states have enacted municipal laws or resolutions decriminalizing minor cannabis possession offenses.

San Antonio does not make the list.

The site where the hoax was launched is part of a network of prank websites centered around thefakenewsgenerator.com that allow anyone to create a realistic looking fake news article. The network offers a selection of misleading domain names that can be used to make it look like an article came from real news websites such as CBS News, Associated Press or The New York Times. Each hoax article comes with following disclaimer at the top of the page:

You clicked this fake news story. Now make your own!

We wrote about cbsnews.us 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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