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Despair to due a fake news website!

(105 Posts)
sara221 Mon 15-May-17 03:00:25

I am feeling the rage-someone has gone on a fake news/prank website and posted a fake story about my business! I am using a relatively nc for this thread but am a long time lurker.
I just can not believe that people can be so evil, I have literally slogged over the last two years to get my business up and running- now in the place of 48hours my reputation is in tatters.
I am so upset-I guess I just need a good rant!
The sad thing is that people are believing an obvious lie, which could easily be checked on a simple google search. I have been dealing with hundreds of callers, not even customer-calling through to shout and scream at me. I have had a member of the public come in and threaten me-been told 'it is a good job your open' or else ' i would have put a brick through your windows'.
I just am speechless at the sheer levels of hatred and vitriol. I just feel like saying sod it and close!
I just do not understand why people believe everything they read-without checking at least one legitimate news site.
My business has been so badly affected by these lies, I just do not know what to do. I have reported it to the police and it could fall into the Malicious Communication 2003-but this Act is so out of date with modern social media. I just feel despair, that someone-anyone can go on a fake news site and then just screenshot and send on to major social media, to accounts with private settings-that can not be reported.
I have already had to cut my staff hours-there is a human cost to these stupid website and trying close down someone's business is not free speech.
If you have read this far, then I thank you and apologise for the length and if it reads illogically- but I am so upset and angry.

whyohwhyy Mon 15-May-17 03:09:58

Can you put a link to the fake news? It might not be as bad as you feel. I'm sure everything will be ok. Xx

UsedToBeAPaxmanFan Mon 15-May-17 03:29:21

I'm so sorry.

I remember a couple of years ago that an insurance broker was savagely attacked by people phoning up abusive, threatening staff etc because one of the tabloids had run a story about them refusing to pay out to a couple on holiday in somewhere like the Caribbean who had had a premature baby. From what i can remember, the insurance had actually rUn out a few days before the baby was born and so the insurance company were absolutely within their rights. But the press did this sob story about the mum and baby being in this horrendous hospital with no sanitation rather than in the private hospital because of the insurance company, and that it was all their fault if the baby died etc etc. The comments from the public were horrendous. People just seemed to read the "poor me" bits without reading that the insurance company had no obligation.

Is there any way you can put a correction onto the site or respond? Can you threaten legal action if they don't remove the misinformation?

I hope this gets resolved quickly.

SomeOtherFuckers Mon 15-May-17 03:29:24

Put big signs on the front stating that the news website is not factual?

sara221 Mon 15-May-17 04:19:08

I have put a message on all our social media platforms-thank you for your kind words.
The pranksite that is ruining my life, is called- www.channel23news.com
You can create literally any type of story, they make it look real and directly upload onto a major social media site.
People are taking screen shots and then forwarding on-people receiving these malicious lies, are believing it.
This is literally something that I could never even dreamt of happening-it is a nightmare. I have worked so hard to build this tiny little business up and now, its like none of it matters because some awful person can hide behind a screen and make up lies.
The police have been supportive but they can not really stop these lies going forward.
I just do not know what to do, years of hard work gone, in my sector our reputation is important.
I just don't understand why big major social media site allow these types of outlets to directly upload on to them, there is literally no checks at all.

wowfudge Mon 15-May-17 04:42:38

You need to contact the social media sites the story is on and ask them to take down the posts. You should also contact the local newspaper to try to redress the balance. Contact whoever owns the fake news site and request they publish a retraction and an apology. You can sue for libel, but it's an expensive route to take.

sara221 Mon 15-May-17 04:56:07

I have tried to find contact details for this site but I could not find anything. I know It is based in Hong Kong-they provide no support services. I did try to find a way of reporting on the major social media site it uploads onto but this website does not have a webpage with them. I therefore can not find a way to report them, also the other site there are on-is with end to end encryption so people can forward anything and they have full deniability.
I am going to try and sleep-but am feeling really upset. Thank you guys for reading.

Movingin2017 Mon 15-May-17 05:01:25

Are you posting everywhere about it being fake news site and asking people to share? Hopefully your loyal customers can share too

DoesAnyoneReadTheseThings Mon 15-May-17 06:45:19

What is the 'fake news'? Can it be easily proven it's fake? If so you could publish a statement including the proof and ask people to share?

Toysaurus Mon 15-May-17 07:28:00

Has it been done by a competitor? That's pretty common. Use the full force of any legal avenues available to you.

wowfudge Mon 15-May-17 07:36:41

I looked them up and it's supposed to be aimed at friends who want to put a fun fake story of you out on social media. Clearly it can be misused. If it's been posted on Facebook, etc then report it to them and ask them to take it down. Put a message up on your own website to counter this. Contact a lawyer - seriously, if it has been as damaging as you've reported then it needs sorting out.

Keep a record of the messages you're receiving and ask the police for a progress report - if you are receiving threats from people that is serious and they need to deal with that as a separate issue.

ChasedByBees Mon 15-May-17 09:03:05

I think the local papers about it how a fake story is being used to ruin a local business could be quite topical and help to turn this around. So sorry OP.

silkpyjamasallday Mon 15-May-17 09:24:14

I would go to your local paper OP to try and redress the balance, the malicious fake news certainly makes for more exciting copy than the usual I'm sure. So sorry this has happened to you. Do think about if there are any competitors who might do this to try and poach your customers, I know that there are two gyms in my town close by and members of one of them post terrible reviews of the other so that people go to them instead, saying the other gym is filthy, equipment is broken and staff are rude etc. It's not true, I went to look around anyway as it has classes I wanted to do and the other doesn't and the reviews were clearly lying.

sara221 Mon 15-May-17 16:07:32

Thank you all for your messages of support-I have got in touch with a local newspaper-who may run a story. The other local paper was not interested.
My entire email inbox is emails from concerned customers-I just am aghast that the law is so far behind on this type of modern crimes. Whoever did this wants to close me down and I have no protection-major social media sites should have responsibility to have filters to stop or highlight such 'fake news'.

ThePinkOcelot Mon 15-May-17 16:28:31

That's disgusting. I hope you manage to get it sorted. What an absolutely shitty thing to do.

Allthebestnamesareused Mon 15-May-17 16:33:31

Where are the stories published? The link takes you to a page to create a 'prank' but how do people see the stories? Threaten any site publishing with libel proceedings, demand an apology and item stating it was fake. Keep details of all complaints etc.

Grimbles Mon 15-May-17 16:39:28

If this fake story was originally uploaded to Facebook or Twitter then they surely should've able to tack the original account that posted it?

It may mean resorting to legal means, but it's worth checking with a solicitor? You would definitely have a case for defamation so it would be worth an initial consultation to find out your options.

TallullahFrancois Mon 15-May-17 16:47:04

Is your restaurant the Karri Twist op? Just seen about it on Facebook. Horrendous!

sara221 Tue 16-May-17 00:10:14

Tallullah I was not going to out myself but this story has grown legs-yes Karri Twist is my restaurant. This malicious story has not dissipated, instead people are forwarding it on. Literally a simple search would confirm that this false story is not just about my restaurant but about other Indian restaurants too.
For anyone wanting to see the vile things that has been written-just go on www.channel23news.com in the search bar just put in Indian Restaurant and the story comes up.
Clearly I have not been arrested, there are no 9 dead bodies and the restaurant is open.
The same exact story has been written about a handful of other restaurants.
I have no way of reporting this story to Facebook because people are sharing it on privacy setting that are closed off. And Whatsapp has end to end encryption- so people are happily sharing it along, I found out today this is also on Snapchat.
I just can not understand why this is happening and people are just accepting this whole story-without question.
I have just got back from a shift which consisted mostly of people ringing to order human parts! And generally being quite abusive on the phone.

IvorHughJarrs Tue 16-May-17 00:29:34

Is it worth posting a statement on your website, Facebook and other platforms saying that the story is not true, has been reported to the Police and you are taking legal advice as to pursuing the perpetrators of this outrageous and harmful lie.
Agree to involve local papers and local radio if possible

sara221 Tue 16-May-17 00:47:49

Ivor -I have put an official statement on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram page. One local paper showed interest but I am guessing my story probably would not really interest the radio. I am in touch with the police and would pursue a civil case, should a perpetrator be found.
I have had some support my loyal patrons, friends of the restaurant and some locals. However the vast majority has been people ringing up, or even taking selfies outside. I even had a man in, at the weekend telling me I was lucky I was open because otherwise he would have put a brick through the windows!
It beggars belief that in 2017 people can get away with this type of malicious lies.

kali110 Tue 16-May-17 00:49:46

Omg op!
I just read your post!
How awful! I can understand someone putting it on the pranksite thinking it would be funny.
Wth would think would actually be true???

sara221 Tue 16-May-17 00:52:54

Kali they have taken a screenshot and then forwarded it on and people are not checking the authenticity of the actual website.
Also pranking is meant to be funny but this is just sheer malice and bile.

tygr Tue 16-May-17 01:02:31

I've just searched on Facebook. There are so many spelling mistakes in the article it's clearly fake. Just to reassure you that on a search nearly everything that comes up is saying it's malicious and not true.

Hopefully it all blows over soon. Today's news is tomorrow's chip paper etc.

loaferloveforyou Tue 16-May-17 01:02:40

FFS who believes this sort of shit anyway!

Sorry this is happening to you, I've got no advice but hopefully this dies down sooner rather than later and normal business is resumed.

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