Fake News: No, 17 Local Women Did NOT Discover They Were All Pregnant To The Same Man

Fact Check

  • by: Maarten Schenk
Fake News: No, 17 Local Women Did NOT Discover They Were All Pregnant To The Same Man

Did 17 women in Elgin, Illinois (or anywhere else) discover they were all made pregnant by the same young, African American man? No, that's not true: the story was pushed by the latest in a long string of websites pretending to be official U.S. news outlets but which only push made up stories to earn money through advertising. The story is not real.

The story originated from an article published by NBC News 6 (not the real NBC News) on December 18, 2018 titled "Elgin, IL: 17 local women discover they're all pregnant - to the same man" (archived here) which opened:

A 24-year old Elgin, Illinois man has broken a world record after he successfully impregnated 17 women with all of them simultaneously pregnant with his children.

The man, a young African American - learned that the world record for simultaneous pregnancies to the same father was 16 women, and boasted to his friends that he could beat it.

"He has a habit of making big claims and never following through," said one of the man's friends. "In this case we didn't think for a second he'd be able to do it, so when he came to us with proof we were blown away."

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail and to them it would have looked like a legitimate news website:

Elgin, IL: 17 local women discover they're all pregnant - to the same man

A 24-year old Elgin, Illinois man has broken a world record after he successfully impregnated 17 women with all of them simultaneously pregnant with his children.The man, a young African American - learned that the world record for simultaneous pregn

But the site was only registered a few weeks ago and has nothing to do with the real NBC News:

Domain Information
Domain:nbcnews6.com
Registrar:NameCheap, Inc.
Registered On:2018-11-26

The site is part of a larger network of sites all designed to look like news sites from real U.S. news and entertainment brands. Older sites we identified as being part of this network include:

  • www.abcnews-us.com
  • www.boston-post.com
  • www.coindesk-us.com
  • www.foxnews-us.com
  • www.si-nba.com
  • www.thenyherald.com
  • www.tmz-us.com
  • www.us-nbcnews.com
  • www.vice-en-us.com
  • www.yahoonews-us.com
  • www.abcnews5.com
  • www.boston-post.com
  • www.cbsnews24.com
  • www.fox-26houston.com
  • www.fox-32chicago.com
  • www.thenyherald.com

The current site shares several advertising network ID codes with other sites in this network.

Stories published by the network are often copied or inspired by older hoaxes from other satire or fake news sites but the quality of the writing is usually markedly better. The setting of the events is often some small town somewhere in the United States and in many cases the main illustration used is a picture found on the internet showing a police car from the local police force or a sign with the town's name on it. The same story is often re-used by changing the location and/or names of the people involved.

We wrote about nbcnews6.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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