‘Stop and Kiss’ Article Isn’t Real; NYPD Satire from ‘The Onion’ Fools Many on Twitter

December 5, 2013 Updated: July 18, 2015

Apparently, people are believing that an Onion report titled “Bloomberg Defends NYPD’s Controversial Stop And Kiss Program”–which makes light of the controversial “Stop and Policy” in New York–is real.

But the story isn’t remotely close to the truth. The Onion is the premier satire news site and only publishes fake news intended to make fun real-world events.

“The outgoing mayor continues to stand by the police’s routine kissing of New York citizens,” reads the description of the Onion video.

A fake Onion anchor says: “Thousands took to the street” to protest the “stop and kiss” policy, which allows officers to kiss anyone they believe is a suspect.

The video also features “victims” of the practice. And it includes a fake quote from Mayor Michael Bloomberg, saying “If someone is suspected of a crime, officers should be allowed to question them and leave them with a reasonable kiss on the mouth.”

It goes even farther and includes “fake” pundits and analysts in the vein of Fox News or CNN.

More than 200,000 people “liked” and shared it on Facebook, but many thought the practice of NYPD officers kissing suspects was a real thing.

On Twitter, people reacted.

“Anyone else see the video on NYC stop-and-kiss policy?? @102_JAMZ should talk about it one morning,” wrote one user. 

Added another: “Apparently in the city the nypd has a stop-and-kiss policy where cops can stop you if you look suspicious and kiss you.” 

“Is that stop and kiss stuff real?!” another added.

“Lmfao the NYPD going too far with that Stop-And-Kiss program,” added another

A disclaimer for the Onion reads: “The Onion is a satirical weekly publication published 52 times a year on Thursdays. The Onion is published by Onion, Inc. The contents of this material are © Copyright 2010 by Onion, Inc. and may not be reprinted or re-transmitted in whole or in part without the express written consent of the publisher. The Onion is not intended for readers under 18 years of age.”

It adds: “The Onion uses invented names in all its stories, except in cases where public figures are being satirized. Any other use of real names is accidental and coincidental.”

Several months ago, a short piece from the Onion saying George Zimmerman, the man acquitted in the Trayvon Martin killing case, won the lottery, drawing a similar response on Twitter.