An article titled “Man Responsible For Olympic Ring Mishap Found Dead Sochi” during the Winter Olympics in Russia is just a satire story, but more than 500,000 people shared and “liked” it, with many believing it to be true.
It was published by satire news site The Daily Currant, which has similar content to The Onion
“The man responsible for operating the Olympic Rings during last night’s Winter Olympics opening ceremony in Russia was found dead today,” it reads. “According to local reports the body of Boris Avdeyev was found his hotel room early this morning with multiple stab wounds.”
It also quotes a “Canadian bobsled member Guy Lafleur” who doesn’t exist and said Russian Vladimir Putin was “visibly upset.”
The Daily Currant has a disclaimer saying it’s a satire site.
“The Daily Currant is an English language online satirical newspaper that covers global politics, business, technology, entertainment, science, health and media. It is accessible from over 190 countries worldwide – now including South Sudan,” it says. “Our mission is to ridicule the timid ignorance which obstructs our progress, and promote intelligence – which presses forward.”
It adds: “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.”
The website says also how it got it’s name. “The name is thus intended to sound like a newspaper, but is spelled like the fruit in a subtle reference to the newspaper’s satirical nature,” it reads.
But on Twitter and Facebook, many believed the satire Sochi story.
“Omg don’t mess with Russia and their Olympics!!!” tweeted one user.
Added another: “Olympics are like 2 days in and it’s already crazy’ ‘Man Responsible For Olympic Ring Mishap Found Dead In Sochi.”
Following the glitch, Russian Olympic officials defended the move to use rehearsal footage to cover up the mishap, Sky News reported.
About 40,000 spectators in the stands saw the error, but Russians who saw it on TV couldn’t see it.
Only four of the five rings materialized in a wintry opening scene. The five were supposed to join together and erupt in fireworks. But one snowflake never expanded, and the pyrotechnics never went off. But everything worked fine for viewers of the Rossiya 1, the Russian host broadcaster. As the fifth ring got stuck, Rossiya cut away to rehearsal footage. All five rings came together, and the fireworks exploded on cue.
“It didn’t show on television, thank God,” Jean-Claude Killy, the French ski great who heads the IOC co-ordination commission for the Sochi Games, told The Associated Press.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.