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

Fake News: Illinois Boy Was NOT Unable To Unlock His iPhone X Because Of A Pimple

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Sat, 12 Jan 2019 10:33:55 Z)

Did an unnamed Illinois teenager get a pimple on his face causing his iPhone to not recognize him anymore so he could no longer unlock it? No, that's not true: the story was made up by the English version of a Spanish satire website, it is not real.

The story originated from an article published by There Is News on January 9, 2019 titled "He got a pimple in the face and now he cannot unlock his iPhone X" (archived here) which opened:

A young boy from Illinois submitted a claim in an Apple store in his locality, after taking 24 hours without being able to use his new iPhone X. Problems started when he configured his phone with the option of facial recognition. On Thursday morning he got up with a huge pimple on his face and there was no way to unlock his cell phone.

Screenshot of https://thereisnews.com/he-got-a-pimple-in-the-face-and-now-he-cannot-unlock-his-iphone-x/

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

He got a pimple in the face and now he cannot unlock his iPhone X

A young boy from Illinois submitted a claim in an Apple store in his locality, after taking 24 hours without being able to use his new iPhone X. Problems started when he configured his phone with the option of facial recognition. On Thursday morning he got up with a huge pimple on his face and there was no way to

But the pimple picture has been online since at least 2013 (well before the iPhone X was launched in 2017), it seems to have been taken from the Flickr photostream of someone named Matt Selby:

Pervestache Day 5

How long can this go on? And how long will that zit stay on my forehead! JESUS!!!

And of course you can always use the passcode to unlock an iPhone if Face ID fails.

The site There Is News carries a "Legal Warging" (archived here) that reads:

Legal Warging

The site "There is news" (http://thereisnews.es) (hereinafter referred to as TIN) is a humor site whose purpose is entertainment.

The content of TIN is fiction and does not correspond to reality.

All references, names, brands or institutions that appear on the site are used as contextual elements, as in any novel or fiction account.

(Note that the site thereisnews.es doesn't exist, only the .com version is live)

The site is the English language version of the Spanish satire site Hay Noticia, which is owned by Spanish humor website/collective La Fabrica de la Comedia S.C.

We wrote about thereisnews.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

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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