No, A Man Didn't Dump $200,000 Worth Of Manure On His Ex-Boss' Lawn

No, A Man Didn't Dump $200,000 Worth Of Manure On His Ex-Boss' Lawn

The hoax is a play on other successful boss revenge stories, in which employees typically come into a load of money and quit their job in spectacular ways. In this case, the fake post was about a made-up Illinois man who got arrested for dumping manure on his boss' front lawn. Another example of a fake post of the same ilk is a viral story claiming a woman was arrested for defecating on her boss's desk after winning the lottery.

World News Daily Report, the website where the manure hoax originated, labels itself as satire. It has been responsible for other viral hits like Babysitter Transported To Hospital After Inserting A Baby In Her Vagina and Morgue Employee Cremated By Mistake While Taking A Nap.

A reverse image search shows the "man" pictured in the story was actually arrested in 2014 for an unrelated DUI charge, according to an article about the incident in the Chicago Tribune.

Despite there being no truth to the story, people fell for it in droves. According to data from social sharing app BuzzSumo, the post has amassed more than 1.5 million shares, likes, and comments on Facebook.

A report by liberal non-profit research group Media Matters For America shows that local radio stations are repeat offenders when it comes to sharing fake news stories.

MMFA found that 98 stations shared 101 hoaxes between December 2016 and February 2018 both on air and through social media. Radio stations repeated the hoaxes to their listeners live 63 times and posted them 49 times.

(To gather their data, MMFA used stories by debunkers like Snopes, PolitiFact, and Lead Stories as well as BuzzFeed's data on the top fakes of 2017.)

This often happens with viral hoaxes — other sites steal the stories to lure in an audience, further spreading the fake.

Jane Lytvynenko is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Toronto, Canada. PGP fingerprint: A088 89E6 2500 AD3C 8081 BAFB 23BA 21F3 81E0 101C.

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