Oh, for the love of God. I thought things like this only happened in bad soap operas… or V.C. Andrews novels. Some chick poured her heart out on the /r/TwoXChromosomes sub Reddit thread thingy (I don’t actually know how Reddit works) about how she just found out her fiance is her half-brother.
“While working on wedding invitations – my future MIL [mother-in-law] mentioned that my fiancé’s dad is actually his stepdad. I asked to see a picture of his real dad and I nearly passed out when my MIL showed me a pic of my dad,” oopscest wrote.
Oopcest (best name ever) went on to say that her fiance had known this information for a year and now she doesn’t know what to do. In less than 9 hours from posting, oopscest’s story got 3,400 comments. People really wanted to give their opinion on this story. A lot of Peepz were more concerned about the fact that her fiance had allegedly kept this information from her for a whole year than the fact that they were secret siblings.
Cosmo picked up the story, as well as several other media outlets, but, huh, no one bothered to fact check the damn thing, because if they had they would have realized the whole thing was a hoax.
I wanted to demonstrate the need to QUESTION EVERYTHING you read on the internet and to not be dragged in by someone who happens to be a compelling storyteller. Ask for sources. Ask questions. Think critically.
The other reason why I did this was to show how very, very easy it is to craft a story that is reported by mainstream news outlets as true. I feel like this is one of the scariest things going on in our world right now. News organizations are sourcing their stories from the internet without doing independent research, verifying the facts of the story, or even reaching out to the original poster. […]
The very last reason I did this was to highlight another massive problem occurring in reddit’s support subreddits, such as TwoX. News sites — both legitimate and gossip-based — are coming into communities and lifting posts without asking the author or considering the consequences. Many of these stories are extremely sensitive and personal; and are being shared with a community in hopes of finding support. Splashing these stories on the front page of news websites and sensationalizing them is a growing practice that is destined to cause misery. It’s only a matter of time before one of these news outlets does such a thing, prompting tragic real-world consequences.
PEOPLE ARE PISSED!
Oopscest is now claiming that they lied in an effort to open people’s eyes to the way journos no longer verify stories. Redditors are like, “No shit,” but as one commentor put it:
Aw, you think trolling a support subreddit which has rules precisely against the type of “story verification” you wanted to see had any merit at all. And here you are, rubbing it in the face of people who tried to provide support in good faith (and because the specific community you chose to troll does not allow questioning a support thread) and calling yourself a “journalist”. All of course, without owning up to who you really are (so we can see you are no such thing). Many of us knew your shit was bad fanfic; but openly doubting and pressing you would not benefit any of us. Especially if you were truly a victim seeking support.
Nice job, you managed to get shitty news websites to pick up on your shitty story. The people who read it on there are truth likely had a pause in their day to gasp and moved on with thier lives. This isn’t like you convinced the entire internet that you discovered a cure for the common cold. You made it onto the gossip and lifestyle section of Cosmo. Really. Congratulations.
I guess you do deserve credit for what you have done here, which is to make people a lot more skeptical and a lot less likely to offer support (or to seek it) in TwoX and similar communities in the future. Thanks for your contribution.
Yup, FakeMBDMask really hit the nail on the head with that comment.
But what do I know? After reading all the comments on Reddit, I decided it was best to pull my sweatshirt over my face and call it a day. The internet is dead. Bye.