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Hoax Alert

Fake News: Woman Did NOT Sue Ex-roommate For $1.2m For Training Her Parrot to Sexually Harass Her

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Thu, 08 Nov 2018 22:38:10 Z)

Did a 26-year old woman named Sarah Johnson from Louisville in Kentucky sue her ex-roommate for training a parrot to sexually harrass her? No, that's not true: the story was made up by a Canadian website that makes up entertaining but false stories often involving weird crimes or bizarre sex acts. None of it is real.

The story originated from an article published by World News Daily Report on November 8, 2018 titled "Woman sues ex-roommate for $1.2m for training her parrot to sexually harass her" (archived here) which opened:

A woman filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against her ex-roommate for teaching her pet parrot dozens of lewd remarks which it would repeat hundreds of times every day.

26-year old Sarah Johnson from Louisville in Kentucky claims that her former roommate, 27-year old Steven Moore, caused her psychological and emotional trauma by pushing her pet parrot to sexually harass her.

According to the complaint, Mr. Moore taught the plaintiff's bird, an orange-winged amazon parrot named Kiki, several short sentences of sexual nature, which the animal began repeating tirelessly.

Screenshot of https://worldnewsdailyreport.com/woman-sues-ex-roommate-for-1-2m-for-training-her-parrot-to-sexually-harass-her/

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail and may have confused it for an actual news article:

Woman sues ex-roommate for $1.2m for training her parrot to sexually harass her

A woman filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against her ex-roommate for teaching her pet parrot dozens of lewd remarks which it would repeat hundreds of times every day. 26-year old Sarah Johnson from Louisville in Kentucky claims that her former roommate, 27-year old Steven Moore, caused her psychol

In reality the story of the woman in the picture that went with the article is much more tragic: she is Shelby Taylor from South Carolina and she was convicted of leaving her baby in a trash bin in 2015 (fortunately the baby survived).

South Carolina woman convicted of leaving baby in trash bin

CONWAY, S.C. - A South Carolina woman has been convicted of dumping her newborn daughter in an apartment trash bin. Local media report that an Horry County jury in Conway on Thursday convicted Shelby Taylor of Myrtle Beach of attempted murder. Taylor will be sentenced next week.

The website World News Daily Report is a well known satire website specialized in posting hoaxes and made up stories. The disclaimer on their website is pretty clear about that even though you have to scroll all the way down the page to find it:

World News Daily Report assumes all responsibility for the satirical nature of its articles and for the fictional nature of their content. All characters appearing in the articles in this website - even those based on real people - are entirely fictional and any resemblance between them and any person, living, dead or undead, is purely a miracle.

It is run by Janick Murray-Hall and Olivier Legault, who also run the satirical Journal de Mourréal, a satirical site spoofing the (real) Journal de Montéal. Very often their stories feature an image showing a random crazy mugshot found in a mugshot gallery on the internet or on a stock photo website superimposed over a background of flashing police lights or crime scene tape.

Articles from the site are frequently copied (sometimes even months or years later) by varous fake news websites that omit the satire disclaimer and present the information as real.

We wrote about worldnewsdailyreport.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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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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