Thursday, April 12, 2012

Ann Margret Death Hoax

While this hoax is still making its way around the blogosphere, there are a couple good investigative tips to point out.

I first heard the story on the radio this morning. When the people on the air tried to look it up on the Web, they noted that the site's URL was mediafetcher, which made them wonder if the story was really true.

Tip 1: For breaking news, go to Twitter. When I searched for ann margret death, I saw too and below that a comment about twitter. Since lots of breaking news comes first through twitter, I searched twitter for ann margret and saw a mixture of condolences and claims the story is a hoax.

Tip 2: Read the page. The definitive fact in this case was noted in a number of tweets: the web site claims the story is FAKE. True enough, look at the bottom of the mediafetcher page:
FAKE... THIS STORY IS 100% FAKE! this is an entertainment website, and this is a totally fake article based on zero truth and is a complete work of fiction for entertainment purposes! this story was dynamically generated using a generic 'template' and is not factual. Any reference to specific individuals has been 100% fabricated by web site visitors who have created fake stories by entering a name into a blank 'non-specific' template for the purpose of entertainment. For sub-domain info, name removal requests and additional use restrictions:
Copyright © 2012 All rights reserved.
Best to do a little checking before ordering flowers.

This site may be one to watch for other fake breaking news for teaching purposes.

As for the purpose of the mediafetcher site, wouldn't you say that's a dark spin on defining 'entertainment?' If you want a challenge, find the top 10 domains operated by the individual(s) behind this hoax entertainment site. It gives you some context.


Anonymous said...

The correct spelling of her name is "Margret" - not "Margaret"

InformationFluency said...

Fixed. Thanks! Spelling isn't critical to searching on Google as this demonstrates. But it's only right to spell someone's name properly.