Just Because It's Trending Doesn't Mean It's True
Hoax Alert

Fake News: Famous Wing Spot Buffalo Wild Wings NOT Closing All Locations In 2019.

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Mon, 17 Sep 2018 14:59:17 Z)

Is restaurant chain Buffalo Wild Wings closing down in 2019? No, that's not true: some joker uploaded a prank to a website imitating the domain name of CBS News and it went viral but it is not real.

The story originated from an article published on September 16, 2018 on the website cbsnews.us (not the real cbsnews.com) titled "Famous Wing spot is closing all locations in 2019." (archived here) which opened:

Buffalo Wild Wings has filed for bankruptcy and has chosen to close all locations by the end of 2019. CEO Sally J. Smith released her statement today. "I never expected this day to

Screenshot of https://cbsnews.us/2018/09/14/Famous-Wing-spot-is-closing-all-locations-in-2019-/0RmFtb3VzIFdpbmcgc3BvdCBpcyBjbG9zaW5nIGFsbCBsb2NhdGlvbnMgaW4gMjAxOS4=.QnVmZmFsbyBXaWxkIFdpbmdzIGhhcyBmaWxlZCBmb3IgYmFua3J1cHRjeSBhbmQgaGFzIGNob3NlbiB0byBjbG9zZSBhbGwgbG9jYXRpb25zIGJ5IHRoZSBlbmQgb2YgMjAxOS4gQ0VPIFNhbGx5IEouIFNtaXRoIHJlbGVhc2VkIGhlciBzdGF0ZW1lbnQgdG9kYXkuIOKAnEkgbmV2ZXIgZXhwZWN0ZWQgdGhpcyBkYXkgdG8g.aHR0cHM6Ly9mYXJtNC5zdGF0aWNmbGlja3IuY29tLzM4NzcvMTQ4NzMwNjU2NjNfNTUyZThlMTJhNl96LmpwZw==

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail and it fooled many of them into thinking it was a real news article:

Famous Wing spot is closing all locations in 2019.

Buffalo Wild Wings has filed for bankruptcy and has chosen to close all locations by the end of 2019. CEO Sally J. Smith released her statement today. "I never expected this day to

But the 'announcements' page of the press section of the website of Inspire Brands (the mother company of Buffalo Wild Wings) has nothing about the news. And that is only natural because the site where the hoax was published 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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