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Hoax Alert

Fake News: Man NOT Hospitalized After His Apple Airpods Exploded In His Ear

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Mon, 24 Dec 2018 10:57:30 Z)

Did a 21-year old man from Tucson, Arizona named Josiah Johnson need to go to hospital with severe burns after his Apple Airpods exploded in his ear? No, that's not true: the story was made up by a website that publishes tales of weird crimes, bizarre sex acts and strange accidents under the guise of "fauxtire". It did not really happen.

The story originated from an article published by Huzlers on December 24, 2018 titled "Man Hospitalized After His Apple Airpods Exploded In His Ear" (archived here) which opened:

TUCSON, AZ - An Arizona man is being hospitalized after his brand new Apple AirPod earphones allegedly exploded in his ear.

Josiah Johnson, 21, is being hospitalized with 2nd degree burns on his face after his Airpods exploded. According to Josiah, who admitted to have been watching pornography when his Airpods exploded, also has 1st degree burns on his penis and tesitcles. "I ain't buy my 3 year old son any presents this year because i bought the airpods instead, and now this, couldn't even get my nut on" said Josiah as he was laying in his hospital bed.

Screenshot of http://www.huzlers.com/man-hospitalized-after-his-apple-airpods-exploded-in-his-ear/

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail and would not have seen it did not come from a real news website:

Man Hospitalized After His Apple Airpods Exploded In His Ear

TUCSON, AZ - An Arizona man is being hospitalized after his brand new Apple AirPod earphones allegedly exploded in his ear. Josiah Johnson, 21, is being hospitalized with 2nd degree burns on his face after his Airpods exploded. According to Josiah, who admitted to have been watching pornography when his Airpods exploded, also has 1st ...

Huzlers styles itself as a "fauxtire" website and carries a disclaimer at the bottom of each page:

Huzlers.com is the most infamous fauxtire & satire entertainment website in the world. If it's trending on social media you'll find it here!

The picture of the ear with second degree burns already appeared in this medical journal article from 2012:

Management of ear burns Sarabahi S - Indian J Burns

Indian J Burns, Official publication of National Academy of Burns,India

Apple Airpods weren't released until December 2016 so it would have been impossible they caused the injuries shown in the picture.

According to Splinter News Huzlers is run by Pablo Reyes and David Martinez and according to Buzzfeed Reyes is involved with several other fake news websites. They tend to shy away from political stories, opting instead to write for a more "urban" audience, with stories about rappers, criminals and celebrities.

We wrote about huzlers.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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