The fake “killer clown” story “blowed-up real good”

At least four crappy news outlets who don’t bother to fact check (or don’t care) posted this fake story about a clown dying after stepping on a land mine in Cambodia.



The story was devised and promoted by the fake news site Times of Cambodia that, according to First Draft News, was totally, transparently, fake:

A WhoIs search will show the “Times of Cambodia” site was set up on October 16th, with echoes of the Harambe McHarambeface fake, and that of inter-generational incest in Florida. They were both fantastical stories published by brand new websites that sound like a real news organisation. They were quickly revealed to be fakes, published for the clicks.

If this story is revealed to be true then name your price and I’ll pay it. Hand on heart. But for some news organisations looking to ride that wave of traffic, it was just too good to check.

Don’t fall for fake news. You look like a… well, you know what. Sadly, those who read the Mirror and these other tabloids will assume that since it’s printed, it’s true.

Remember, the Mirror and other popular tabloids are on the Beyond Doubtful list of No Go To Sources for news. Just don’t click on them, that encourages them.

[blowed-up real good reference here]

Check out our podcast — the first episode digs into this killer clown phenomenon.

  5 comments for “The fake “killer clown” story “blowed-up real good”

  1. Ronald H. Pine
    October 21, 2016 at 11:47 PM

    Those land mines in Cambodia are no joke, though. When I was there doing field work, setting and running traplines for small mammals, we were jumping from rock outcrop to rock outcrop and running along the tops of stone walls, to keep from stepping on areas of soil, where there were still land mines.

  2. Senua
    October 23, 2016 at 3:44 AM

    Not a fake news story as such but a man in the UK lied that a clown had cut his fingers with a knife. After being publicised in various papers, the man then admitted that he was drunk and had fallen over and cut himself on glass.

  3. October 24, 2016 at 7:00 PM

    “At least four crappy news outlets who don’t bother to fact check (or don’t care) “: oxymoron.
    It has become too rampant …. Even my dear national geographic、so eerie to have to discern everything now.

  4. October 24, 2016 at 7:50 PM

    The Internet has no controls, no real editors for the most part. It is up to the individual to be critical about what he/she reads. Sadly, we are not well prepared for this. This is exactly why skeptical advocacy and outreach about critical thinking is so desperately needed.

  5. October 28, 2016 at 8:45 AM

    We’ve had several “sightings” here in Wisconsin of these so-called creepy clowns. I was talking to the liaison officer at the school where I work the other day and he said there have been sightings in several local communities. I asked him if any law enforcement agency he knew about has actually caught one of these people and he had to admit that to the best of his knowledge, no. At least not that he’d heard of.

    So has any law enforcement agency actually caught one of these things? When the authorities here in the state have managed to track down the origins of the stories, they’ve all turned out to be false reports; kids telling stories to scare friends or get attention, loony adults who thought it was a good joke, that kind of thing.

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