Special Report of the Day: So here’s a semi-frightening case study on the importance of skepticism in the age of viral news.
A couple weeks back I told you about an Israeli model named Orit Fox who had an unfortunate run-in with a snake during a photoshoot wherein she was bitten in her breast. Luckily, Fox is known for storing copious amounts of silicone in her heaving bosom, so she emerged from the incident mostly unscathed. Not so the snake, who apparently passed away from silicone poisoning shortly thereafter.
Or at least that’s what The Daily Mail, The Sun, Metro UK, The New York Daily News, SWNS, and many other publications would like you to believe.
Except that never actually happened.
When the story first emerged on the BuzzMedia-owned gossip site Oh No They Didn’t, it was accompanied by a short caption containing this quip: “The snake later died from silicone poisoning.” “Really? Poor snake,” lamented a reader; “lmao I was joking!,” replied the article’s author. Only The Daily Mail didn’t know that when it picked up the line as fact for its “coverage” of the story.
The news of the snake’s untimely demise quickly spread from there to other news outlets, eventually landing on Gawker, Jezebel, Best Week Ever, and even ONTD, where the first comment was, believe it or not, “Poor snake.”
Bottom line: Your mom was right when she said “don’t believe everything you read, especially if it’s about poisonous boobs.”