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Hoax Alert

Fake News: White Woman Did NOT Give Birth to Black Child, Did NOT Blame Coffee Husband Drinks

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Mon, 07 Jan 2019 18:57:29 Z)

Did a white woman in Elgin, Illinois (or anywhere else) give birth to a black baby and did she blame the coffee her husband drank? No, that's not true: the story was made up by a fake news site designed to look like a local news website. It is part of a larger network of sites that regularily posts fake stories set in various towns and cities in the United States. None of the stories are real.

This one appeared in an article published by usdaily-news.com on January 7, 2019 titled "Elgin, IL: White woman gives birth to a black child and blames the coffee her husband drinks" (archived here) which opened:

The events occurred last Thursday at the Advocate Sherman Hospital, where a young woman, white and 24 years old, gave birth to a beautiful child who weighed 4.2 kg.

Even though her husband is also white, the baby was born black . After delivery, already in the room, the young man asked his wife for explanations. "I'm not racist, I don't care about the color of his skin, but, have you cheated me?". She replied: "I didn't cheat you, I promess. You are always drinking coffe day and night, every hour, that's the only reason".

Screenshot of http://www.usdaily-news.com/elgin-il-white-woman-gives-birth-to-a-black-child-and-blames-the-coffee-her-husband-drinks/

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

Elgin, IL: White woman gives birth to a black child and blames the coffee her husband drinks

The events occurred last Thursday at the Advocate Sherman Hospital, where a young woman, white and 24 years old, gave birth to a beautiful child who weighed 4.2 kg.Even though her husband is also white, the baby was born black . After delivery, alrea

However the site carried a satire disclaimer at the bottom of the page:

US Daily News is the second most infamous fauxtire & satire entertainment website in the world. If it's disturbingly funny, you will find it here. © 2019 - US Daily News. All Rights Reserved.

The site is part of a larger network of sites all designed to look like news sites from real U.S. news and entertainment brands. Older sites we identified as being part of this network include:

  • www.abcnews-us.com
  • www.boston-post.com
  • www.coindesk-us.com
  • www.foxnews-us.com
  • www.si-nba.com
  • www.thenyherald.com
  • www.tmz-us.com
  • www.us-nbcnews.com
  • www.vice-en-us.com
  • www.yahoonews-us.com
  • www.abcnews5.com

  • www.boston-post.com
  • www.cbsnews24.com
  • www.fox-26houston.com
  • www.fox-32chicago.com
  • www.thenyherald.com
  • www.usdaily-news.com

The current site shares several advertising network ID codes with other sites in this network and uses the same WordPress template previously used by several other of the older sites.

Stories published by the network are often copied or inspired by older hoaxes from other satire or fake news sites but the quality of the writing is usually markedly better. The setting of the events is often some small town somewhere in the United States and in many cases the main illustration used is a picture found on the internet showing a police car from the local police force or a sign with the town's name on it. The same story is often re-used by changing the location and/or names of the people involved.

This particular story seems to have been copied from satirical website There Is News which had a big hit with it last year:

Gives birth to a black child and blames the coffee her husband drinks

The events occurred last Thursday at the University Hospital of Valencia (Spain), where a young woman, white and 24 years old, gave birth to a beautiful child who weighed 4.2 kg. Even though her husband is also white, the baby was born black .

Their version went viral to such an extent that it made BuzzFeed News' list of top viral hoaxes of 2018. Analysis by Lead Stories revealed no fact checking sites debunked the story last year:

Lead Stories Fastest At Debunking 2018 Top Hoaxes Identified By BuzzFeed News | Lead Stories

A few days ago BuzzFeed's Craig Silverman published his annual overview of the top 50 biggest on-line hoaxes of the previous year. Just like last year we used this list as a basis to do some analysis to see how Lead Stories did compared to other fact checking websites.

This is also not the first time fake stories from the network were set in Elgin, here are some earlier examples:

Fake News: No, 17 Local Women Did NOT Discover They Were All Pregnant To The Same Man | Lead Stories

Did 17 women in Elgin, Illinois (or anywhere else) discover they were all made pregnant by the same young, African American man? No, that's not true: the story was pushed by the latest in a long string of websites pretending to be official U.S.

Fake News: Galveston Man Did NOT Book A Prostitute - She Did NOT Turn Out To Be His Wife | Lead Stories

Did a man in Galveston, Texas book a prostitute via a website and did she turn out to be his own wife? No, that's not true. A fake news site simply copied an earlier hoax and change the location. The story is quite old and was made up.

(Note: that last story was later repeated in an "Elgin" version)

NewsGuard, a company that uses trained journalist to rank the reliability of websites, describes usdaily-news.com as:

A website that falsely presents itself as a legitimate U.S. news organization and that has published hoax stories of made-up crimes.

According to NewsGuard the site does not maintain basic standards of accuracy and accountability. Read their full assessment here.

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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

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.

Spotted a hoax that you think we should investigate? Have a tip? Want to send us a correction? Contact us!

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