Several posts that said the drinking age in the UK and US is being raised to 25 are just hoaxes.
The fake articles were posted on the Sunday Times Daily, a website that allows users to create and share fake news. The site was apparently taken down, however.
It used to say, “We are sorry, but you were tricked! It was just a joke.”
It also added: “Don’t worry, you are not the only one. [Millions of] people already fell for this. If you liked the joke, you can share it and trick your friends. Also you can create a joke of your own clicking the button below!
The website generates its traffic via Facebook and Twitter, and its posts appear to be from ABC or the BBC, using official-looking logos.
However, when one tries to access the Sunday Times website, they’re taken to a Change.org petition page.
“By launching a user-driven web humor website (Sunday Times Daily) we simply provided a tool for people to have fun in creating and sharing stories of their own. We did this in a lighthearted fashion in our free time without realizing what would follow,” the petition says.
The creator of the petition–from Tbilisi in the country of Georgia–said, “Soon after the article views created by ordinary users began to dwarf the readership of established media giants we were bombarded with letters and legal notices from them demanding not only removal of all of our content, but also money.”
“As a result, we were forced to terminate the service and take the website down,” it then says, adding it’s a story “of David and Goliath [and] we drew some inspiration and our own conclusions.”
The Sunday Times Daily had a number of ads on the page and it used the logos of ABC, CNN, Fox, the BBC, and others.