An article saying a woman was arrested after calling her ex-boyfriend 77,000 times in one week is fake, but that didn’t prevent a few media outlets from reporting on it.
The fake article also appeared to trick a number of people, as evidenced by social media posts.
It was published on “satire” news website World News Daily Report, which features fake stories with headlines like “Descendant of Dracula Arrested for Mass Murder” and “Man Accused of Stealing 32 Tons of Bacon.”
The website has a disclaimer, which outlines what it’s all about.
“World News Daily 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. All news articles contained within worldnewsdailyreport.com are fiction, and presumably fake news. Any resemblance to the truth is purely coincidental, except for all references to politicians and/or celebrities, in which case they are based on real people, but still based almost entirely in fiction,” it reads.
The fake article about the woman calling her boyfriend 77,000 would be nearly impossible to pull off in a real-life scenario. The woman would have to make about 458 to 459 calls per hour, every hour, for a week straight.
“Linda Murphy, who has an history of obsessive compulsive behavior, would have badly taken her breakup with William Ryans, with whom she had had a relationship for three weeks. She is accused of using up to three phones at once to call him, 24 hours a day, on his cell phone, home number and at work. The woman would have ingested large quantities of energy drinks and amphetamines to remain awake and would have gone sleepless for a week, calling her ex nonstop,” the fake article says.
A few media outlets picked up the story, either republishing it or reporting on it as if it were actual news.
Social media users also apparently believed it. “No man is worth all that trouble and attention,” one person said.
Added another, “Dude is badly harassed and rightly shook-up, frightened and lacking in sleep, and clearly needed her to be forcibly prevented from doing the things she was doing, which were: ‘not only called her ex-lover a formidable 77 639 times in a week, but also sent him 1937 emails, 41 229 text messages, 217 sung messages and 647 letters in the same period.'”