sheep
Representational photo | Brendon Thorne/Bloomberg
Text Size:

New Delhi: Major news agencies last week fell for fake news about hundreds of sheep in Southern Ireland on an uncontrollable sex drive after they drank water from the Ringaskiddy harbour where drug manufacturer Pfizer had accidentally spilled tonnes of viagra.

The story posted by IANS from the World News Daily Report, a satirical website, was soon picked up by major news agencies, including the Outlook, The Times of India, Times Now, News18, The Quint and Gulf News. 

Besides these portals, Marathi media outlet Lokmat, The Frustrated Indian, Mumbai Mirror, and InShorts also published it.

On realising that it was a satire, The Times of India and Times Now took it down.


Also read: ‘Hyderabad encounter’ image going viral is from 2015 when Andhra police killed woodcutters


‘Where facts don’t matter’

The story by World News Daily Report also said Pfizer had admitted to one of its drug-manufacturing plants accidentally spilling “more than 755 tons of unfiltered viagra in the waters of Ringaskiddy Harbour over the last week”.

It also stated that over 80,000 sheep and a few hundred cattle were affected.

“This is after in 2017 villagers from Ringaskiddy filed a class-action lawsuit after fumes from the plant were found to have arousing effects on both humans and animals,” the report stated.

The bizarre story was republished by leading news agencies from the site that clearly states that it produces “satirical and fictional” content and has a tagline stating “where facts don’t matter”.

It even has a disclaimer that reads: “World News Daily Report assumes all responsibility for the satirical nature of its articles and for the fictional nature of their content. All characters appearing in the articles in this website — even those based on real people — are entirely fictional…”.

In collaboration with SM Hoaxslayer


Also read: Video of Muslim girl kicked by lawyers shared as ‘Hindu rape victim’ beaten up in Pakistan


 

Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

Why news media is in crisis & How you can fix it

India needs free, fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism even more as it faces multiple crises.

But the news media is in a crisis of its own. There have been brutal layoffs and pay-cuts. The best of journalism is shrinking, yielding to crude prime-time spectacle.

ThePrint has the finest young reporters, columnists and editors working for it. Sustaining journalism of this quality needs smart and thinking people like you to pay for it. Whether you live in India or overseas, you can do it here.

Support Our Journalism

Share Your Views

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here