A story about a girl named Julie Gunn, complete with a picture emblazoned with R.I.P Julie Gunn, purports that after Justin Bieber called her a “beached whale,” she committed suicide.
There’s one problem, though–the story is published on a fake news website, the National Report.
The site’s disclaimer reads: “National Report is a news and political satire web publication, which may or may not use real names, often in semi-real or mostly fictitious ways.”
The story, “Justin Bieber’s ‘Beached Whale’ Comment Leads To Teen Girl’s Suicide,” has been shared over 159,000 times on Facebook, undoubtedly by many people who believe that it is real.
The story alleges that “the pudgy sunbather who recently endured Justin Bieber’s cruel taunts aimed at her husky physique has allegedly committed suicide.” Her roomate supposedly found her dead in their apartment, after Bieber’s comments led her to drinking nonstop and popping pills.
Julie was just living a normal, average life before Justin called her a beached whale, after that everything changed,” the roommate supposedly said. “Everywhere she went after that, people just couldn’t help themselves from taking a jab at the Justin Bieber whale girl. The insults were relentless.”
A guest who was at the Hyatt Regency in Perth, Australia described the situation, wherein Beiber went over to Gunn and said that she looked like a beached whale while sunbathing, and that she should go on “The Biggest Loser.”
The National Report’s disclaimer also says: “All news articles contained within National Report are fiction, and presumably fake news. Any resemblance to the truth is purely coincidental.”
But people have been consistenly fooled into thinking the website’s stories are real, such as one about an Indian rape festival, and another that recently purportedly named the Mega Millions lottery winner in San Jose, California.