Fake News: Retirement Home NOT Raided By The FBI For Running Elderly Fight Club, NO 7 Arrests

Fact Check

  • by: Maarten Schenk

STORY UPDATED: check for updates below.

Fake News: Retirement Home NOT Raided By The FBI For Running Elderly Fight Club, NO 7 Arrests

Was a retirement home raided by the FBI for running a "Fight Club" for the elderly? No, that's not true: the story was made up by a site that makes up stories about invented crimes and bizarre sex acts all the time for entertainment purposes. It did not happen, none of it is true.

The story originated from an article published by World News Daily Report on May 29, 2018 titled "Retirement home raided by the FBI for running elderly fight club, 7 arrests" (archived here) which opened:

Seven employees of a nursing home for elderly people were arrested by the FBI this morning in Charlottesville, Virginia, for forcing the elders under their care to fight each other.

According to investigators, the 124 residents of the Retirement Village were forced to fight each other in order to obtain basic things such as food and medical treatments.

The fights were filmed and relayed online on a specialized website, where they often attracted several thousand viewers and astounding amounts of money in bets.

FBI spokesman, Bill Donovan, says the most popular fights were the ones in which contenders were "armed" with canes or walkers.

The screenshot illustrating the article is from a video that was online already in 2010:

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:

Updates:

  • 2018-06-23T22:34:15Z 2018-06-23T22:34:15Z
    The story was copied later by Huzlers.com where it went viral again.

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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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