These Popular Viral Stories Have One Thing in Common — They’re 100% Fake

These Popular Viral Stories Have One Thing in Common — They’re 100% Fake

You can’t trust everything in your Facebook feed. Thanks to, ahem, certain events from the past two years, people are finally becoming more aware of how easy it is to make fake memes, create Internet hoaxes, and spread mistruths. But hey, it’s 2018 now. You’d think we’d be a lot savvier by now when it comes to not falling for videos that were obviously produced by some marketing company. But you’ll be surprised how many of the biggest viral stories from the past few years were completely fabricated or even outright hoaxes — and yes, we fell for all of them. Below, a few viral stories you had no idea were fake.

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When Alan Rickman passed away in 2016, the Internet was flooded with photos and quotes to commemorate the late Harry Potter star. However, one of the most shared quotes wasn’t even real. It was a fake quote created by a fan on Tumblr. And another little fact to put a dagger in your Snape-loving heart? Alan never read the Harry Potter books.

WENT BACK TO KFC YESTERDAY AND SPOKE TO THE MANAGER SHE SAID IT IS A RAT AND APOLOGIZED, IT’S TIME FOR A LAWYER!!! BESAFE DON’T EAT FAST FOOD !!!

Posted by Devorise Dixon on Friday, June 12, 2015

Back in 2015, Devorise Dixon shared this nightmarish picture of a fried rat he found in a box of chicken tenders purchased from KFC. As the entire Internet dry heaved, KFC decided to test the “rat” at an independent lab. The results came back that the fried rodent was in fact chicken. Whew

Unfortunately, that fried rat head found at a Popeye’s was 100 percent real. 

Earlier this month, everyone couldn’t stop sharing a script from a fake Olive Garden commercial. Created by writer Keaton Patti, he tweeted that he made a robot watch hours of Olive Garden commercials and then had the bot generate a script. Although most of the Internet (ourselves included) thought the script was written by a real robot, it actually wasn’t. Artificial Intelligence is advanced, but it’s not that advanced.

“I wish people wouldn’t present these fakes as bot-written. Actual AI-written text just isn’t that coherent,”  scientist Janelle Shane explained on Twitter. “Neural nets learn by example. If you show it 1,000 hours of video (assuming 120,000 unique 30-sec Olive Garden commercials exist), you’ll get video out, not a script with stage directions.”

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This Facebook post from actress Meryl Streep’s Facebook made the rounds back in 2015. It was an uplifting post about an experience where an Italian director told her she was “too ugly” for a role. “Today I have 18 Academy Awards,” the post concluded. How inspiring! Too bad it wasn’t real, nor did it even come from Meryl’s real Facebook page (because she doesn’t have one).

Instead, the post was written by a fan. The incident, however, was a real one. Meryl told the story on The Graham Norton Show in 2015. According to her, while auditioning for a part in King Kong, Italian producer Dino De Laurentiis remarked in Italian, “Why do you bring me this ugly thing?” Meryl then replied, also in Italian, “I’m sorry I’m not beautiful enough to be in King Kong.”

Although the story was a real one, the actual Facebook post and the accompanied picture (which was not taken at the same time as her audition) were fake, and the account was later suspended for violation.

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Who remembers the time Paris Hilton pissed off the whole Internet with her tone-deaf shirt that mockingly blared, “Stop being poor”? Although the photo provided fuel for her haters, the picture was actually Photoshopped. The real picture showed her wearing a shirt that said, “Stop being desperate.” Yikes — we owe Paris an apology.

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This story was everywhere back in 2013, and the picture still makes the rounds on Facebook, but it’s #fakenews. 

According to a report in The Irish Times, a Chinese man sued his wife after she gave birth to a ridiculously ugly baby. After initially thinking his wife cheated on him, the wife confessed to having $ 100,000 worth of plastic surgery before they met, hence why the baby looked so different.

As hilarious as the story was, the report was completely fabricated by some Chinese newspaper, which was then picked up by other outlets. The picture that accompanied the story was a completely unrelated ad for a Taiwanese plastic surgery center. Taiwanese model Heidi Yeh posed for the family shot with three children whose faces were digitally altered. The text on the ad said, “The only thing you’ll ever have to worry about is how to explain it to the kids.”

However, the Internet has been circulating the picture for years thinking it’s real, much to Heidi’s dismay. She confessed in 2015 that the viral story has ruined her life and her career. “I realized the whole world was spreading it and in different languages,” she told the BBC. “People actually thought it was real. Even my then-boyfriend’s friends would ask about it.” 

Despite reports debunking the story, the picture still gets shared on social media even today.

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Back in 2014, one of the most vulgar memes involved drunken men loudly shouting “F–k her right in the p—y!” during live news broadcasts. It was incredibly tasteless, annoying, and drove newscasters crazy. And to make matters worse, the meme was ignited by a hoax.

Internet jokester John Cain created a fake video of a man, dressed in a hoodie and sunglasses, grabbing a microphone from a reporter and screaming the offensive phrase during a live broadcast. Even Gawker at the time reported that the video was a hoax. “These videos are terrible ‘viral’ hoaxes, and you should ignore them until they go away,” Jay Hathaway wrote.

But they didn’t go away. For the rest of that year, drunken sports fans, 12-year-old boys, and college hooligans delighted themselves in shouting the phrase every time they saw a camera. So, in a way, even though the meme started off as a hoax, through its popularity it morphed into a bonafide real meme. But still — ew.

Aww, although this was the most adorable viral story from 2015, this Japanese trend of owners trimming their dogs’ hair so that they look like cubes was largely false. First of all, the pictures came from a Taiwanese grooming store, not from Japan. Secondly, all the pictures (all three of them) only came from that one shop, which hardly counts as some newfangled “craze” or “trend.” Of course, that didn’t stop sites like Boing Boing and MTV from running the story anyway. Unfortunately, it’s just not true.

Pizza rat, in case you forgot, was a little rat, captured on camera by comedian Mike Little, dragging a slice of pizza down the subway steps. It was probably the most New York meme ever created and spurred dozens of Halloween costumes and Internet jokes. However, as much as it pains us to write this, Pizza Rat was fake.

The whole thing was a hoax by performance artist Zardulu, who told The Washington Post that she trained the rat to carry the pizza down the steps. The anonymous artist also took credit for other viral stories, like “selfie rat” and “raccoon riding an alligator.”

“In my art, I use highly trained rats to symbolize the shadow archetype and the subway as a symbol of our unconscious minds,” Zardulu revealed to Gothamist in a bizarre video. “I trained a rat to drag a piece of pizza down the subway stairs. Why has this become one of the most prolific videos of our generation? I believe because it symbolically completes us by incorporating our shadow into our conscious minds.”

Ooookay.

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Last year, Texas student JosephLongoria tweeted this bizarre photo of his teacher spying on the class by hiding in the ceiling during an exam. “My teacher left the room during a test so we all started sharing answers,” he tweeted. “Then I look up and she was staring right at me.” The photo instantly went viral, but Joseph later told Buzzfeed News that he made the whole thing up.

“I just had it along with the rest of my pictures,” he said. “I was deleting them because ya know, storage almost full, iPhone probs. So I decided to make it into a meme.”

As for the woman in the ceiling, no one knows who she is or where the picture originated from. Weird.

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Broccoli Coffee Is A Real Thing

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I’m a sucker for food fads, so bring on the unicorn cakes and the cotton candy cocktails. In fact, as a Gemini, I’ll frankly try almost anything twice.

As a pretty slothful twenty-something, I often struggle to remember if I’ve fulfilled my required fruit and veggie intake for the day. Does a Bloody Mary count? Especially if I’m not cooking for myself at home. 

So when I heard there was a way to get caffeinated AND eat my daily vegetables all in one, I figured this might just be the trend for lazy me.

Enter Broccoli Coffee. The food industry’s latest gross-sounding attempt to get everyone to eat their greens. 

The scientists at Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) and Host Innovation discovered a way to dry and pulverize ugly broccoli (bunches too imperfect to sell in stores) into a flavorful green powder. Mix two tablespoons of it into any drink, soup or food recipe and you’ll end up with a whole serving of vegetables. 

Broccoli is also a great source of vitamins C, K, A, and B6, and is super rich in other nutrients that are really good for you and your body. 

If broccoffees aren’t looking like your thing, consider broccoli powder just another beneficial additive to throw into a smoothie, shake, or that muffin recipe you’ve been dying to try out. Combined with sweeter, more flavorful ingredients, you’ll barely taste the broccoli and still reap all of its benefits.

It all comes down down to what your tastebuds can get down with. And whether this broccolatte looks appealing to you at all. 

Twitter lost its mind when the news of broccoli coffee spread.

With most people thinking this health trend is just not going to take off. 

While others are approaching the broccoli powder thing with an open mind.

No matter which side of this you’re on, I think we can all agree it takes a brave soul to risk ruining their morning cup of joe with cruciferous greens. 

Would you?

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These Photos From A Clergy Fashion Catalog Are The Best Thing On The Internet Today

I’m Catholic, so I must beg, Father, for you to please forgive me for what I am about to do—namely, show you stills from a clergy fashion catalog that bring all new meaning to the phrase “dad bods.”

British Twitter user Abi Bleach found these stills from the Wippell’s catalog, which has been outfitting clergymen since, literally, the 18th century (Europe is SO OLD, y’all).

And all I’ll say is that the blonde priest in these pictures is inspiring more than one deadly sin in me. 

Perhaps even more delightful than these pictures is the response from some actual clerics. 

A BREASTFEEDING CASSOCK. Plus, there is this crushable cleric selfie.

*Gives self the sign of the cross.*

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These Parents Did The Best Thing Ever After Their Daughter Got Her First Period

Periods have been stigmatized for all of modern history, and only recently have things started to slide back into the ‘hey this normal and has been happening for as long as we’ve been a species’ mindset. 

Heck, even commercials for period products still feature some weird mystery blue fluid in them, because showing even a hint of blood makes many uncomfortable. I mean imagine if they were done this way instead:

Today, when little girls become big girls, they usually get a talk and go shopping for overpriced feminine hygiene products. One family took a different approach.

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For Brooke, crossing into womanhood came with cake. Because her big sister posted it online and because this is the internet, it became hugely popular with the masses, to no one’s surprise.

Plenty of folks are warning her of what’s to come, but for now, Brooke seems to be enjoying the temporary internet fame.

Congratulations Brooke’s parents. You’ve just set the bar.

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Marine's Response To Daughter Asking For Pride Flag Is Best Thing Ever

This Christmas, Twitter user Dakotah from Ohio decided to add something special to the gift list that she gave out to family — a gay pride flag. And this morning, she got it. Along with a pretty touching letter from her father, a retired marine.

Dakotah took to Twitter to share the letter…

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People were touched by the response, with Dakotah’s tweet acquiring some 15,000 retweets and 45,000 likes. 

She explained further…

And people were pretty touched by the whole thing.

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This Guy's Reaction To Exotic Animals Is The Purest Thing To Happen In 2016

If you look at any teenagers online profiles, it would be pretty easy to write off this generation of high school students as Instagram obsessed brats with no real passion for anything outside social media. However, for every kid glued to their iPhone, there’s a kid appreciating the incredible world around them. The latter are our hope for the future.

One of those hopes for the future is 17-year-old Jalen Brooks, a high school senior from Riverside, Illinois. A herpetologist came to his high school zoology class to show the students rare animals that had been confiscated from the illegal pet trade… And let’s just say, Brooks was pretty damn mesmerized. 

Classmate Jill Lojas tweeted a video of Brooks’ epic reactions to the presentation. 

Clearly, Brooks could NOT handle the majesty of the animal kingdom. 

“It began when he pulled out the biggest duck species there is! I was super intrigued,” he told BuzzFeed News. “After that,  then he pulled out the largest python I’ve ever seen and I lost it.”

Twitter is now “losing it” over Brooks’ enthusiasm. TBH, it’s just so pure and refreshing.

The video has been retweeted nearly 140,000 times — and it’s getting the meme treatment. 

As if the story isn’t adorable enough already, Brooks’ account of the whole thing is priceless. “He pulled out a series of crazy reptiles that were honestly dinosaurs in my opinion,” he said. “Then he pulled out the largest python I’ve ever seen and I lost it.”

Some people were equally impressed by the animals, and they wondered why their zoology classes weren’t this cool. 

It didn’t take long for the memes to start flowing in. 

The newfound Twitter fame has even landed Brooks some A-list followers, including NBA star Stephen Curry. 

Jalen, never lose your sense of wonder. 

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2016 sucked, but the world is still magical.

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Guy Accidentally Gets Added To Bachelorette Party Group Message And Plans The Entire Thing

Luke Price, a 26-year-old from London, recently got added to a group chat called ‘Nikki’s Hen Party’ after one of the mothers entered in a wrong number.

Instead of letting them know their mistake, he decided to see how much he could get away with while they thought he was ‘Anna the Slamma.’ Anna just wanted to go to the spa and get wasted.

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Luke told Metro that he managed to keep the charade up for two days before one of the girls called his number and heard his voicemail. 

“My intention was to keep going in the hope I could get the ladies something for their hen party. But I’ve messaged the group admin, she was sweet and saw the funny side.”

Looks like Anna the Slamma won’t be able to tag along. 

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This Garden Is Going To Smell Like Dead Bodies Tonight, And That's A Good Thing

It isn’t often that not being able to smell a dead body in the room is a cause for concern.

But that was the case last week at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx, when the much anticipated and incredibly pungent bloom of the Corpse Flower (real name Amorphophallus Titanum) didn’t happen as scheduled.

After waiting nearly ten years for this particular one to bloom, the concern is understandable, though luckily things went smoothly today as the flower revealed its striking red interior and utterly foul stench.

The NYBG website gives us an idea as to how rare of a view this is:

“Each day of careful tending and feeding has led up to this moment: a brief yet glorious window in which the enormous plant (up to eight feet high) will unfurl, displaying the striking red interior and uncanny scent to which it owes its name. This is the first time that a blooming titan-arum has been put on display at the Garden since 1939.”

The event only lasts 24 to 36 hours, and the NYBG has extended their visiting hours and set up a livestream so no one would miss it


They will undoubtedly post a time-lapse video after the event

The first Corpse Flower found its way into their garden in 1932 and bloomed five years later.  It was adopted as the borough of the Bronx’ official flower soon after in honor of the bloom, and remained the official flower until it was replaced by the Daylily in 2001.

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Celine Dion's Rihanna Impression Is The Greatest Thing To Happen This Week

While we thought our shameless love for Celine Dion couldn’t grow any more, she proves how flawless she truly is. Sure, she’s sustained a successful music career for over thirty years. But she also handled a tragic year with the utmost grace. She lost her husband of twenty-one years, René Angélil, and her brother, Daniel, just two days later.

Despite all the hardship, she’s continued to work enthusiastically and received the Billboard Icon Award at this year’s Billboard Music Awards. 

Simply put, the woman is legendary.

Her appearance of Jimmy Fallon last night was nothing short of incredible. The two played an epic game of “Wheel Of Musical Impressions.”

Because who doesn’t want to hear celebrities impersonate one another singing childhood songs? Previously, Celine herself was imitated by Ariana Grande on the show. 

At First, Celine seemed pretty nervous about the game, but, of course, she dominated and it’s entertaining AF. She channeled her inner Cher, Sia, and Michael Jackson. But her ultimate performance was a rendition of “Row, Row, Row You Boat” as Rihanna. Spoiler alert: it’s to the tune of “Work” and it’s awkward and entrancing.

Here’s a little sneak peak of Celine getting pretty into it. 

…Those moves. Even Jimmy was concerned. 

You can watch the hilarious clip below. 

The Rihanna magic begins at 2:36. You’re welcome. 

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18 Airbnb Hosts Share The Worst Thing A Guest Has Ever Done In Their House

My friends who rent their places on Airbnb have told me some pretty horrifying stories of the worst guests they’ve ever hosted. And it seems pretty common to come across a tenant from hell, the Airbnb hosts of Reddit recently shared their own. They involve sex, used enemas and police raids. 

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Recommended article from FiveFilters.org: Most Labour MPs in the UK Are Revolting.

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