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

Fake News: French President Macron Did NOT Announce Removal of Christmas Bonus From Family Benefits (CAF)

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Sat, 24 Nov 2018 08:40:32 Z)

Is President Macron removing the Christmas bonus for recipients of the "CAF" ("Caisse des Allocations Familiales")? No, that's not true: no official announcement about this has been made but a post on a prank website has gone massively viral in the past few days.

The story originated from an article published on actualitesdujour.fr probably somewhere in early or mid November 2018 titled "Prime de Noël supprimé" (archived here) which opened:

Macron continue les réformes .la prime de Noël dont bénéficie les allocataire de la CAF sera supprimé des cette année Après les APL ça continue et ce n'est que le début .

The reason the date is unclear is that the site uses fake publication dates that always show today's date.

Translation:

Macron continues the reforms. The Christmas bonus for CAF recipients will be removed this year After the APL continues and this is just the beginning.

Screenshot of http://www.actualitesdujour.fr/5975ec10ce638/prime-de-noel-supprime.html

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

Prime de Noël supprimé

Macron continue les réformes .la prime de Noël dont bénéficie les allocataire de la CAF sera supprimé des cette année Après les APL ça continue et ce n'est que le début .

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 actualitesdujour.fr 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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