Fake News! Daniel Radcliffe Being Tested Positive for Coronavirus Is a Hoax!
The internet went bonkers when it was reported that Daniel Radcliffe was tested positive for the coronavirus. However, it turned out that it was fake news all along.
The online world got shaken after a fake BBC Twitter account, under the username @BBCNewsTonight, posted a false claim about Radcliffe falling ill with the deadly virus.
The user even used the British Broadcasting company's logo, making it look even more authentic for those netizens who failed to visit the account.
The tweet read: "BREAKING: Daniel Radcliffe tests positive for coronavirus. The actor is said to be the first famous person to be publicly confirmed."
Since the said update also included a direct link to a site called BBC News Alerts page, it only made the news a bit believable.
But upon checking the website, the said BBC page has not been updated since 2017. Upon refreshing it, it led users to a pop-out message wherein the fake BBC Twitter account user promoted its e-mail newsletters and apps, as well as their other services.
Still, the website left no evidence on the false claim stated on the link.
Although the user and the tweet appeared to be believable and trustworthy at first glance, netizens could have checked it all out if they only had visited the main profile which wholly revealed that everything was fake. The account, which only has 125 followers, has already been suspended.
They Were Fooled!
Thousands of Twitter users retweeted the fake news. Surprisingly, it also managed to fool a number of high-profile Twitter individuals, including New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman and Politico editorial director Blake Hounshell.
After realizing that the viral information was not accurate, Hounshell apologized to his over 169,000 followers and said that the fake BBC account fooled him.
Meanwhile, Maggie, with 1.2 million followers, retweeted the said news. Like Hounshell, she admitted that was confused and only managed to remove it when a helpful follower of her flagged the post.
Because the two also added more confusion to the public, netizens called them out and replied to their apology tweets.
"There is a very fine line between retweeting fake news and being a stenographer for power in order to get access," one netizen said.
Another one wrote, "Maybe just don't retweet stuff that isn't from the NYT's. There is really no reason to do that, and we can all find our own dumb stories on Twitter."
Aaside from Hounshell and Haberman, even British radio broadcaster Iain Dale announced the news on his LBC show as if it were real. He later on discovered that he had been tricked and corrected himself.
Iain Dale just diagnosed Harry Potter with Coronavirus, on LBC.
Thankfully, Daniel Radcliffe doesn’t have Coronavirus and Mr Dale read out a fake tweet.
He has now corrected himself. — Rachael Swindon #UTFC (@Rachael_Swindon) March 10, 2020