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But Jerry Richards, 73, is a fictional Florida man. Which is probably why this post, shared more than 3,600 times, was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
The post appears to be a screenshot of a story that appeared on Empire News, a website intended "for entertainment purposes only," according to its "About" page, and "uses only fictional names, except in cases of public figures and celebrity parody or satirization."
The story appears under the headline: "Florida millionaire arrested after authorities discover over 700 bodies buried in his backyard."
The fake article, dated June 30, 2018, says a neighbor saw Richards "very obviously burying a body behind his house" and that police had already exhumed 587 bodies "in varying states of decay."
On Facebook, many users posted comments calling out the post’s credibility. But others seemed convinced, and the image that appeared on the social media platform included the words "now this is crazy" with frowning emojis. That seems designed to lead people to believe the story is authentic. Fortunately for Florida Men everywhere, it’s not.
We rate this post Pants on Fire!
Facebook post, June 4, 2019
Empire News, "Florida millionaire arrested after authorities discover over 700 bodies buried in his backyard," June 30, 2018
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