As the year 2016 finally comes to a close, most like to look back and reflect on everything that has happened. Unfortunately, just because you read something has happened does not mean it was actually true. In fact, the year 2016 has been filled with a lot of hoaxes and fake news. The question is – did you make the mistake of believing a fake news story this year?
Keep reading to learn more about some of the biggest fake news stories of 2016.
Per Buzzfeed News, some of the top fake news stories of 2016 involved U.S. politics. In fact, Buzzfeed News determined nearly half of the 50 biggest fake news stories of 2016 to be shared on Facebook were related to U.S. politics. These political fake news stories of 2016 were shared roughly 10.6 million times across Facebook.
Buzzfeed News compiled a full list of the top 50 fake news headlines of 2016 you can read here. However, you can find the top 10 fake news stories of 2016 below:
- “Obama Signs Executive Order Banning The Pledge Of Allegiance In Schools Nationwide”
- “Woman arrested for defecating on boss’ desk after winning the lottery”
- “Pope Francis Shocks World, Endorses Donald Trump for President, Releases Statement”
- “Trump Offering Free One-Way Tickets to Africa & Mexico for Those Who Wanna Leave America”
- “Cinnamon Roll Can Explodes Inside Man’s Butt During Shoplifting Incident”
- “Florida man dies in meth-lab explosion after lighting farts on fire”
- “FBI Agent Suspected in Hillary Email Leaks Found Dead in Apparent Murder-Suicide”
- “RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE To Reunite And Release Anti Donald Trump Album”
- “Police Find 19 White Female Bodies In Freezers With ‘Black Lives Matter’ Carved Into Skin”
- “ISIS Leader Calls for American Muslim Voters to Support Hillary Clinton”
All 10 of the stories in the top 10 fake news stories of 2016 list acquired more than 500,000 engagements on Facebook with the top two fake news stories acquiring more than a million.
Per The Verge, the domain name “abcnews.com.co” was credited as the top provider of fake news stories for the year 2016. In November, The Verge conducted an interview with a Professor named Nicole A. Cooke of the University of Illinois’ School of Information Sciences. During the interview, the Professor expressed how dangerous it was – despite being a fairly common tactic – for fake news sites to slightly modify the domain name of a well-known news site. This technique makes some visitors mistake the fake news site as the actual media outlet. When the fake news site is mistaken for the real deal, the visitor believes the story on the site, shares it on Facebook, and other people make the mistake of believing it too.
The owner of the fake news site believed to be the top provider of fake news and hoaxes for 2016 revealed to the Washington Post that he believed he – and his fake news website – were the reason Donald Trump was elected president of the United States. He believes some of the fake news about Donald Trump and Clinton is ultimately what swayed people to vote for Trump instead of Clinton.
Per International Business Times, a number of celebrities have been the victim of a celebrity death hoax during the year 2016 as well. In fact, here are some of the top celebrities to be included in death hoaxes during the year 2016:
- Sean Penn
- Stan Lee
- Pauley Perrette
- Jack Black
- Angelina Jolie
- Miley Cyrus
- Hillary Clinton
- Jaden Smith
- Britney Spears
Did you make the mistake of believing one of the fake news stories or celebrity death hoaxes that popped up during the year 2016? Did you or someone you know happen to share one of these fake news stories or death hoaxes on social media? Please feel free to share your answers to these questions with us in the comments section found down below.
[Featured Image by Mawardi Bahar/ShutterStock]