In what is surely the third most shocking occurrence of 2017 after Ja Rule’s Fyre Music Festival going up in flames and Jeff Goldlbum selling sausages in a food truck, a satire article from Honi has gone viral on the Twittersphere after tens of thousands of users believed it was real.
Screenshots of the article by Katie Thorburn — which lampooned Australian politician Fred Nile in a headline reading “Anti-abortion advocate calls for Serena Williams to be stripped of grand slam title, claiming ‘fetal personhood’ means she was unfairly advantaged” — were posted by Twitter user @pollyrosey with the caption “what have I just read”.
what have I just read pic.twitter.com/C4RVbRt9qT
— polls (@PollyRosey) April 27, 2017
The story has now reached over 75000 views on Honi’s website despite the original tweet not including a link to the article (and conveniently cropping the ‘comedy’ tag).
Many users were quick to weigh in on the original tweet.
“This is some next level bullshit,” wrote one.
@PollyRosey This is some next level bullshit 😂😂
— Bella (@_isabellaannie) April 27, 2017
“What a partner,” wrote another, attaching an image of a baby holding a tennis racquet in utero.
— ¿ (@lamelavalamp) April 28, 2017
But it looks like Twitter users weren’t the only ones fooled, with a Kenyan news site publishing the satire piece verbatim on its website.
Not everyone was as convinced, however, with some accusing the original poster of deliberately concealing the fact that the article was satire in order to garner more attention.
“Something from a fake news site tagged as ‘comedy’? Nice cropping,” said one user in a reply.
— Brexit Saboteur (@alexhern) April 28, 2017
Either way, Honi is just satisfied to have finally reached our goal to be branded as a ‘fake news’ site.
Honi has reached out to @pollyrosey, Serena Williams, and Serena Williams’ baby for comment.