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Hoax Alert

Fake News: Man Did NOT Die After Surfing Waves From Hurricane Florence Because A Friend Dared Him To

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Sat, 15 Sep 2018 08:22:53 Z)

Did a 21-year old man named Paul Miles die after surfing waves from hurricane Florence because his friend John Doors dared him on a $100 bet? No, that's not true: the story was made up by a self-declared "fauxtire" site that publishes made up stories for entertainment purposes. It is not real.

The story originated from an article published by 8Shit on September 14, 2018 titled "Man Dies After Surfing Waves From Hurricane Florence Because A Friend Dared Him To" (archived here) which opened:

A 21-year old man has drowned after attempting to surf the big waves from hurricane Florence. According to local officials, he did it because "a friend dared him to". He was supposed to be paid $100 dollars if he was able to get out of there safe. The man accepted without thinking it twice, because he was 25,000 dollars in student loan debt, so "it's something".

Paul Miles went into the sea in the morning, while his friends were waiting outside, in the open, to see what would happen. The friend who dared him, John Doors, had the $100 dollar bill with him.

Screenshot of https://www.8shit.net/man-dies-after-surfing-waves-from-hurricane-florence-because-a-friend-dared-him-to/

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail so they might have thought it was real hurricane news:

Man Dies After Surfing Waves From Hurricane Florence Because A Friend Dared Him To

A 21-year old man has drowned after attempting to surf the big waves from hurricane Florence. According to local officials, he did it because "a friend dared him to". He was supposed to be paid $100 dollars if he was able to get out of there safe. The man accepted without thinking it twice, because [...]

But the image used to illlustrate the story already appeared in numerous news articles about hurricane Arthur in 2014, for example here:

Hurricane Arthur

A man surfs in the fog as strong winds and heavy surf from Hurricane Arthur begin to roll in Nags Head, N.C., July 3, 2014.

Furthermore, 8shit.net carries a disclaimer on its about page that reads:

8Shit is a satire and humor website.

It contains cutting edge satire on a diverse range of topics.

The website publishes fake news, shocking rumors and reports with incisive sarcasm, and humor.

We also post crazy real news which often sounds too good to be true.

And an additional disclaimer in the footer of every page:

8Shit is a satire news and humor website. All its content is fiction (except those posts under the "serious" category) and shouldn't be taken as real. All references, names and marks or institutions in this website are used as contextual elements, like in any novel or science-fiction story.

We wrote about 8shit.net 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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