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

Fake News: NO College Boys Pledge To Remove Testicles If Trump Wall Is Built

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Sat, 13 Oct 2018 07:14:55 Z)

Is a college sophomore named Trent Griliphaen the latest college boy to pledge the removal of his testicles if President Donald Trump builds a wall on the Mexican border? No, that's not true, an old hoax story has been reposted by a network of Macedonian fake news websites but it is still not real.

The story reappeared in an article published by a site named Columbus News on October 12, 2018 titled "More College Boys Pledge To Remove Testicles If Trump Wall Is Built" (archived here) which opened:

Washington Sophomore Trent Griliphaen said he was inspired by the movement at The University of California, and that he "thinks that Trump's construction of the wall is just an extension of his penis, and an expression of Patriarchal rape culture. Really, by building the wall, we are raping the Mexican people, and I am no longer willing to be a perpetrator of rape culture. If I remove my penis, I am making a statement that I reject this mentality."

Screenshot of https://www.columbusnews23.site/test1/

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:

More College Boys Pledge To Remove Testicles If Trump Wall Is Built

Washington Sophomore Trent Griliphaen said he was inspired by the movement at The University of California, and that he "thinks that Trump's construction of the wall is just an extension of his pen...

However Lead Stories already debunked that story in early 2017:

Fake News: College Kids Did NOT Pledge To Remove Genitals If Trump Builds Wall | Lead Stories

Hoax Alert Leadstories' Trendolizer engine detected a fake story that has been trending since last weekend and which has reappeared on several fake and hoax news websites by now. According to the story 2 students at the University of California were going to publicly remove their penis if President Trump went ahead and build his famous USA-Mexico border wall.

At the time we noted that the original story carried following disclaimer:

*This is an entertainment piece - all information found in this article is fictitious, and no representation of any individual, living or dead is intentional.

The website that first published the story has long since gone down but an archived copy of the article can still be viewed here, including the disclaimer.

The Columbus News site is part of a larger network of sites that spam old hoaxes, plagiarized news stories and fake news on Facebook in order to make money from people clicking through to the sites. Some of the sites in this particular network include:

  • coloradopress91.site
  • georgiadailypost.site
  • indiananewspress24.site
  • mesapress91.site
  • nevadanews9.site
  • www.coloradonews9.site
  • www.columbusnews21.site
  • www.columbusnews23.site
  • www.columbusnews3.site
  • www.columbususapost.site
  • www.phoenixusapost.site
  • www.phoenixuspost.site
  • www.texasusapost.site

As you can see, the people behind the network (likely Macedonians) aren't very creative with their naming scheme.

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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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About Lead Stories

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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