Fake News: Olean Man NOT Charged With Singing Naked In Roundabout

Fact Check

  • by: Maarten Schenk
Fake News: Olean Man NOT Charged With Singing Naked In Roundabout

Was 36-year-old David Showers of Olean arrested for singing naked on a roundabout? No, that's not true: the story was posted by some joker to a pranking website and subsequently went viral. It is not real.

The story originated from an article published on Trend News on August 23, 2018 titled "OLEAN MAN CHARGED WITH SINGING NAKED IN ROUNDABOUT" (archived here) which opened:

At 8:54 p.m. August 20, 2018. Police observered David Showers 36 of Olean, naked and singing Grateful Dead songs in one of the city's roundabouts at North Union St. and West State Streets. When police tried to approach Mr. Showers he began running in the direction of Lincoln Park. But was caught shortly after at the pavilion in the park. Mr. Showers was charged with public lewdness, indecent exposure, as well as obstruction of Governmental administration. He was issued an appearance ticket and is due back in court at a later date.

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail and they may have confused it for a real news story:

OLEAN MAN CHARGED WITH SINGING NAKED IN ROUNDABOUT

At 8:54 p.m. August 20, 2018. Police observered David Showers 36 of Olean, naked and singing Grateful Dead songs in one of the city's roundabouts at North Union St. and West State Streets. When police tried to approach Mr. Showers he began running in the direction of Lincoln Park. But was caught shortly after at the pavilion in the park. Mr. Showers was charged with public lewdness, indecent exposure, as well as obstruction of Governmental administration. He was issued an appearance ticket and is due back in court at a later date.

The site that published the story is a prank website where users can submit their own headline, description and photo to create realistic looking prank news articles.

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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.

Each site in the network comes with a disclaimer (sometimes translated into a different language) that reads:

This website is an entertainment website, jokes are created by users. These are humourous jokes, fantasy, fictional, that should not be seriously taken or as a source of information.

So don't fall for this prank now that we've warned you about it!

We wrote about trend-news.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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