Fake News: Girl Did NOT Commit Suicide After Being Bullied on Social Media

Fact Check

  • by: Maarten Schenk
Fake News: Girl Did NOT Commit Suicide After Being Bullied on Social Media

Did a girl named Shaniah Santana commit suicide after being bullied on social media? No, that story originated on a prank website and was not true.

The fake news appeared in a false article published on April 3, 2018 titled "Girl Commits Suicide after being bullied on Social media" (archived here) on React365 and opened:

Shaniah Santana was bullied all over social media after a "sex video" of her and a partner.

The young lady in question does seem to exist but her Facebook profile does not indicate she is dead. We also didn't find any recent media reports about any such suicide. We suspect this post is a case of classmates pranking or bullying each other. The story went massively viral in a very short time, racking up over 5,000 Facebook interactions at the time of writing.

React365 is a prank website where users can submit their own headline, description and photo to create realistic looking prank news articles.

react365.jpg

Users don't even need to upload their own image, there is a built-in search function that will pull an appropriate image from Google image search.

The site is part of a larger network of prank sites all using the same basic layout but sometimes in different languages. It appears to be run by a Belgian company named Mediavibes or Media Vibes which is managed by a man named Nicolas Gouriou according to registration records.

We wrote about react365.com before, here are our most recent articles that mention the site:

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  Maarten Schenk

Lead Stories co-founder Maarten Schenk is our resident expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk

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