Fake CNN Website Taken Offline

“The Fake CNN News Generator was online only a week, but generated a lot of controversy after ersatz news stories were picked up by local outlets and reported as real. Phony stories about the death of musician Dave Matthews, or the Olsen twins attending local universities, for example, appeared in a number of local newspapers, as well as regional radio and TV news reports. Fake stories were generated the site’s visitors, who filled out a form with the story’s headline and text. After hitting a button, the site created a convincing facsimile that included CNN’s logos as well as live links and banner ads.” –Fake CNN Website Taken Offline Wired)

Humph. I thought the “Olsen Twins Attend UWEC” spoof required some effort on the hoaxer’s part, and accordingly publicized it as a creative achievement — but it turns out to have been a fill-in-the-blank exercise. For example, the Wired story includes a partial screen capture of a story about the Olsen twins attending Notre Dame.