In one of the most serious incidents of #fakenews in history, some jokers are trying to fool readers into thinking that Texas-based fast-food restaurant Whataburger is closing all of its stores in 2018.
"The CEO of Whataburger Preston Atkinson announced earlier this month that they will be closing the doors at all their restaurants as of February 2018," the viral article reads. "The fast food chain has been going down hill do to competition and not being able to get other states to allow them to build restaurants there."
Ignoring all of the spelling and grammatical errors ("down hill," "do to?" C'mon, y'all), it's still horribly sourced piece of "reporting," primarily because none of it is real. If you had any doubts, Whataburger confirmed on social media that they're not going anywhere.
The site in question, "channel45news.com," unlike many recent spoof news sites doesn't try very hard to hide what it is. As soon as you click the link to the article you are greeted at the top with a known troll face image and the words "You got owned," because this site was either created by children or it's a time capsule from the internet of the early 2000s. The bottom of the site says, "We do NOT support FAKE NEWS!!! This is a Prank website that is intended for Fun."
The prank doesn't try nearly as hard to be convincing as other fake news articles, like ones that claim Samuel L. Jackson and Justin Bieber are moving to North Texas. But that doesn't make it any less annoying.