Last week a local restaurant was the victim of a cruel prank. Fortunately the community rallied and quickly shut down someone’s ill-meaning attempt at a joke.
On May 4, someone posted on Facebook that the Won Ton Restaurant in Hinesville was being investigated after claims were received about customers becoming ill and being rushed to the hospital for food poisoning. The post seemed real enough, citing Channel22News.com.
The problem is that channel22news.com is not a real news organization at all.
Fake site, fake poop and people citing the fake poop-ness.
For the sake of my everlasting love of Chinese food, Channel22News.com best back off, or the well-read and intelligent citizens of Liberty County and I will hunt you down.
Never threaten my ability to get a tasty eggroll and fried rice. Or Won Ton’s number six combo…yum!
Won Ton also took to their own Facebook page May 5 pointing out the post was fake. They said it was “outright defamation.” They reported the prank to Facebook and contacted the website to address their concern.
The fake story has since been removed from the channel22news.com site. But, unfortunately not before many had shared the story without even questioning the source.
“I think it sucks and should be banned by Facebook,” local realtor Jimmy Shanken said about channel22news.com. “People believe everything that they read online.”
I am thanking Shanken for his insight. Some folks are completely naïve and others simply fall prey to the fake news trap.
After all the fake site is designed to look like real news. Those perpetuating the prank are creating eye-catching headlines. Some are written well in their narrative and draw in readers with photos. Within the span of a few minutes fakeness is spread with the click of a mouse.
Because most people don’t take the time to READ and RESEARCH.
They see the Facebook post, read the little bit they see and share it with the world.
OMGeee, Check things out people. Do a little investigating!
And even if they follow the link many still fail to realize it is fake, despite the words “You’ve Been Pranked.”
Last time I checked CNN, MSN, New York Times, Washington Post and several other credible news sources DON’T have laughing emojis on their website stories.
“Absolutely absurd,” Hinesville resident Lillian Gray noted. “I don’t know what makes me madder: the site that allows it or the people who just blindly share and make no effort to actually read things through before they share them.”
This fake site was busy that same week spreading lies about a Popeye’s manager in Brunswick. The false story said the manager put cocaine in the chicken breading to increase sales. The report stated that people who ate the chicken got a euphoric high and craved more chicken. It said police found trace amounts of marijuana, crack cocaine and heroin.
Ok I can understand how marijuana laced chicken MIGHT give you the munchies. But crack and heroin?!
Luckily the loyal customers of Won Ton furiously attacked the post. The owners of Won Ton should feel good knowing that their reputation of serving great tasting food stood up to the test of someone who tried to knock them down.
Won Ton 1, Cyber-attacking fool 0.