Fake News: Babysitter NOT Arrested For Auctioning Kids Under Her Care On eBay

Fact Check

  • by: Maarten Schenk
Fake News: Babysitter NOT Arrested For Auctioning Kids Under Her Care On eBay

Was 37-year old Janet Miller from St-Louis, Missouri arrested for selling the kids she was babysitting on eBay? No, that's not true, the story was made up by a website that invents tales about bizarre crimes and sex acts for entertainment purposes, it didn't really happen.

The story originated from an article published on May 24, 2018 by World News Daily Report which was titled "Babysitter arrested for auctionning the kids under her care on eBay" (archived here) and which opened:

St-Louis, Missouri | A babysitter was arrested by the FBI this morning after she tried to sell the three children under her care on the online auction site eBay.

According to the FBI, 37-year old Janet Miller was hired to watch over three young children aged between 2 and 6 years old while their mother was working.

The children's usual babysitter was undergoing a surgery so their mother hired Ms. Miller through an online agency to act as a replacement for the day.

Less than an hour after the mother left for work this morning, the Federal Bureau of Investigation received a report from the Missouri Department of Social Services reporting about an auction on eBay.

But the woman in the picture was actually 33-year-old Kisstal Killough, who threatened kids with an axe in Las Vegas, possibly under the influence of drugs or suffering from mental impairment:

Ax-wielding woman climbs fence, threatens children on North Las Vegas playground

A woman holding a pick ax and screaming threats climbed a chain link fence at a North Las Vegas elementary school Tuesday, according to North Las Vegas Police. It happened at Williams Elementary on the 3000 block of East Tonopah Avenue in North Las Vegas at around noon, NLVPD public information officer Eric Leavitt said.

The website World News Daily Report is a well known satire website specialized in posting hoaxes and made up stories. The disclaimer on their website is pretty clear about that even though you have to scroll all the way down the page to find it:

World News Daily Report assumes all responsibility for the satirical nature of its articles and for the fictional nature of their content. All characters appearing in the articles in this website - even those based on real people - are entirely fictional and any resemblance between them and any person, living, dead or undead, is purely a miracle.

It is run by Janick Murray-Hall and Olivier Legault, who also run the satirical Journal de Mourréal, a satirical site spoofing the (real) Journal de Montéal. Very often their stories feature an image showing a random crazy mugshot found in a mugshot gallery on the internet or on a stock photo website superimposed over a background of flashing police lights or crime scene tape.

Articles from the site are frequently copied (sometimes even months or years later) by varous fake news websites that omit the satire disclaimer and present the information as real.

We wrote about worldnewsdailyreport.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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