An online post that said the manager of a fast food restaurant killed 10 employees was created by a fake news generator apparently devised as a prank.
An undated post on Channel24News.com under the headline, "Manager killed 10 employees at checkers on 183st and 27ave," is only two sentences long. The page’s source code said it was published on June 22, 2017.
"10:30 pm last night police received a call about gun fire in Miami Gardens. Manager killed 10 employees because they was stealing money and tons of supplies," it read. It was illustrated with the photo of a Checkers restaurant at 2645 NW 183rd St in Miami Gardens, Fla., between Miami and Fort Lauderdale.
Facebook users flagged the post as potentially being fabricated, as part of the social media site’s efforts to fight fake news. As of this writing, the post was shared almost 2,700 times.
The post is fake, because every post from Channel24News.com is fake. It’s a website designed to allow users to create their own stories, whether they are real or not (presumably not).
You should be able to note that right away, thanks to the Yao Ming meme cartoon at the page header, accompanied by the words, "You Got Owned!"
A note on the righthand side of the website reads, "You've Been Pranked! Now Create A Story & Trick Your Friends!" Clicking on the button allows a user to write a headline and body text, and upload a photograph to illustrate it. The site generates a url that people can then send to people in an effort to convince them it’s real.
The site nominally advises people to be smart about what they create, noting in its footer, "We do NOT support FAKE NEWS!!! This is a Prank website that is intended for Fun. Bullying, Violent Threats or posts that Violate Public Order are NOT permitted on this Website."
Of course, a "prank" about a shooting at a fast food restaurant is a bit on the violent side, but as of this writing the Checkers story had not been removed.
The site is registered to a Korry Scherer in Milwaukee, Wis. We attempted to reach Scherer at the contact information provided (there’s none on the site) but didn’t hear back.
We didn’t find a record of a mass shooting at a Miami Gardens Checkers, although a man was shot and killed at another location in the town in 2015.
As a word of warning to readers, it’s probably best to be wary of any article coming from Channel24News.com.
We rate this particular statement Pants On Fire!