By Shawn Rice
Michigan’s water pollution problems caused by the presence of numerous dead bodies in the Flint River is fake news. There is no truth to reports that police found 22 dead bodies in Michigan’s Flint River in April 2016 which were determined to be the cause of the state’s water contamination issues.
Where did this fake news originate? The web site News4KTLA published on April 29, 2016, an article reporting that the source of pollution in Michigan’s Flint River was 22 dead bodies that were recently discovered in the water by police. You can read text from the fake story below.
Authorities say roughly 11 million liters of state purchased water have been distributed to Flint residents since the emergency was declared in January over the cities tainted drinking water. However, a grisly discovery was made on Friday morning when surveyors discovered 22 bodies at the bottom of the lake weighed down by concrete blocks and chains. Three retired Michigan state employees are being questioned in connection with the disposal of the dead bodies that led to the contamination of Flint’s municipal water system. The corners office is currently trying to identify the victims.
However, there is no truth to the above story, according to Snopes. Police did not discover 22 dead bodies in the Flint River, and officials have not blamed the river’s contaminated water on the presence of corpses. Rather, News4KTLA is one of many questionable, clickbait fake news sites on the Internet which is responsible for spreading misinformation shared on social media.
The site does not carry a disclaimer labeling its content as “fiction” or “satire.”
Michigan’s water crisis was headline news for many months. Certainly if the source of the Flint River’s contamination had turned out to be dead bodies, it would have been major news. Most likely, the contamination had to do with such things as industrial pollution, corroded pipes, or lead leaching. The only publication to suggest a link between dead bodies and the contamination was News4KTLA.
Here are some examples of people sharing the fake news on social media.
Flint River Was Contaminated with Dead Bodies, Shopping Carts, but City Still Used It as a Water Source https://t.co/7uIeEY8WHN
— PureWaterWarrior (@PWwarrior) May 22, 2017
22 Dead Bodies Discovered In Flint River Found To Be The Source Of Water Contamination – UsefulDIY https://t.co/dqfoFsGiIj
— Mr.Knowledge13™ (@True_kwu) March 30, 2017
— Richard Prall (@greatpetlover) July 7, 2016
Rumor Has It https://t.co/zxIbLHHaYD 22 Dead Bodies Discovered in Flint River Found to Be the Source of Water Contamination
— Rusty Goat (@RustyGoat) May 2, 2016
News 4 KTLA employs a common tactic among fake news purveyors by placing generic news tickers over unrelated photographs. In the above fake story, the image included in the News 4 KTLA article did not show police officers searching the Flint River for 22 dead bodies. Rather, the photograph Go to the full article.
Source:: Business 2 Community