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

Fake News: Metal Legend Rob Halford NOT Found Unresponsive in San Diego Home

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Wed, 24 Oct 2018 08:18:25 Z)

Was singer Rob Halford found unresponsive in his home in San Diego? No, that's not true and he's not dead either. Some prankster spread the rumor by using a website that allows anyone to upload any headline for pranking purposes. No reliable news source is talking about it so it is not true.

The story originated from an article published on React365 on October 23, 2018 titled "Metal Legend, Rob Halford Found Unresponsive in San Diego Home." (archived here) which opened:

Rob Halford, best known for being the lead vocalist of the heavy metal band Judas Priest was found unresponsive in his San Diego home at 2:44 PM. He was taken to the nearest hospital and is receiving treatment. Investigators found Opiates not too far from where Halford was laying. The band asks that you respect his privacy at the time.

Screenshot of http://www.react365.com/5bcf8dc4d0999/metal-legend-rob-halford-found-unresponsive-in-san-diego-home.html

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

Metal Legend, Rob Halford Found Unresponsive in San Diego Home.

Rob Halford, best known for being the lead vocalist of the heavy metal band Judas Priest was found unresponsive in his San Diego home at 2:44 PM. He was taken to the nearest hospital and is receiving treatment. Investigators found Opiates not too far from where Halford was laying. The band asks that you respect his privacy at the time.

But no reliable news outlets are reporting on the story and the official Judas Priest band twitter is also silent on the issue.

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.

react365.jpg

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 react365.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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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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