Why the media keep getting duped by hoaxes

Why the media keep getting duped by hoaxes

The Daily Currant, run by an entrepreneurial young man in Michigan, is a website designed to make people laugh, and perhaps think, but not to fool them. Its headlines are shrewd enough to be funny, but not really believable:

“U.S. Sends Toy Guns to Syrian Opposition”

“Hugo Chavez Will Remain President of Venezuela”

“Sean Penn Praises Chavez, Calls George Washington a ‘Loser’ ”

There are, of course, millions of extremely literal people out there. And the World Wide Web is, yes, a global medium. So for folks in the vast cyber-audience who don’t speak English perfectly — or who don’t understand American wit — the Daily Currant (the name itself is a pun) has an “about” section on its site that begins this way:

Q: “Are your news stories real?”

A: “No. Our stories are purely fictional. However they are meant to address real-world issues through satire and often refer and link to real events happening in the world.”

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