The sites were designed by an experienced fake news publisher using the traditional, emotionally laden headlines, with false stories designed to be shared on social media. The purpose was to promote a movie – by design, many people began sharing these fake news stories on social media where they were viewed as real.
Many of the stories were partisan political posts with false allegations. One fake post had been shared 65,000 times on Facebook alone.
A promotion tactic for “A Cure for Wellness,” which set up false news sites that put out articles that were widely shared, fell flat, as did the film’s projected ticket sales.
Even though the web sites have now been shut down, the original posts shared on social media can still be found by searching those web services.
Everyone produces fake news (we used to call them “public relations press releases”) and social media is the megaphone amplifier for any absurdity to be passed on as the truth.