By Erica Abbott
Webkims / Pixabay
Reports that a bull shark was recently spotted in a Kentucky lake are false. The rumor, which changed details from other fake shark sighting reports, stemmed from a user-created fake news generator.
According to Snopes, the fake claim originated on React365, a website that allows users to prank their friends by creating fake news stories. The article claimed that the Coast Guard discovered a 9-foot bull shark swimming in a Kentucky lake. The story, which came in the form of a photo caption, purported:
Coast Guard Officials have determined that a 9 foot Bull Shark was identified in Kentucky Lake. A team of marine scientists are flying in from Florida to capture and study it.
There is, of course, no truth to the report, which was shared more than 120,000 times. While bull sharks can, in fact, live in both oceans and lakes, this story was created to “prank” social media users. Additionally, the photo used in the article actually shows the fin of a great white shark, not a bull shark. React365’s disclaimer states:
This website is an entertainment website, news are created by users. These are humourous news, fantasy, fictional, that should not be seriously taken or as a source of information.
The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources also debunked the localized rumor on their Facebook. They encouraged people to confirm the source of their “news” before they share it on social media given that many of the rumors stem from disreputable entertainment sites.
While any real shark sighting, particularly in a lake, would no doubt be terrifying, National Geographic reports that “swimmers, surfers, and divers have little to fear from bull sharks” given that they can be quite docile in certain environments. They do warn, however, that they still have a “healthy appetite and aggressive reputation.”
Here are some examples of people talking about the false rumor on social media:
Social Media Reacts to Fake Story about Bull Shark Being Spotted In Kentucky Lake
There’s a bull shark spotted in Kentucky lake!? Somebody give me some Scuba gear cuz I wanna go find it! I frickin love sharks
— Jake Sandlin (@JSandlin502) June 27, 2017
I’m freaking out… just saw on the news an 8ft Bull Shark was spotted in Kentucky Lake… wtf biggest fear is true
— Sarah Otto (@sarah_otto) June 27, 2017
— ⚡️Crissy⚡️ (@crissylchi) June 26, 2017
Bull shark spotted in Kentucky lake https://t.co/2Q7fiHLIrb
— Marc Thomas (@Tomcat4evr65) June 26, 2017
There are actually people out there that thought that a bull shark was spotted in Kentucky Lake.
Just take a second and let that sink in.
— Schmitty (@DrewSchmitt94) June 28, 2017
Have you seen the fake story about a bull shark being spotted in a Kentucky lake circulating social media? What are your thoughts on user-created fake news? Sound Go to the full article.
Source:: Business 2 Community