Did 30-year-old Mark Emery from Lexington, Kentucky undergo $200,000 worth of plastic surgery to resemble Jesus Christ? No, that's not true: the story was made up by a Canadian entertainment website that makes a living by publishing fictional stories often involving weird crimes, bizarre sex acts or strange accidents. It is not real. The story recently enjoyed a renewed burst of popularity after it was posted to several Facebook groups after having intially been published in 2015.
The story originated from an article published by World News Daily Report on September 22, 2015 titled "Man undergoes $200,000 of plastic surgery to look like Jesus Christ" (archived here) which opened:
Lexington | A 30-year old man from Kentucky underwent some radical plastic surgery in order to physically resemble Jesus Christ.
According to the Lexington Daily Tribune, Mark Emery has already been following Jesus' footsteps in many different ways for several years, becoming a carpenter himself, as well as studying ancient Jewish law and religious texts.
He went so far as to spend more than $215,000 on two years worth of plastic surgery to change his physical appearance to resemble Jesus.
After undergoing a total of 21 surgical interventions, he claims to be "almost satisfied" with the results.
Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail and they would not have realized this was not a proper news source:
Lexington | A 30-year old man from Kentucky underwent some radical plastic surgery in order to physically resemble Jesus Christ. According to the Lexington Daily Tribune, Mark Emery has already been following Jesus' footsteps in many different ways for several years, becoming a carpenter himself, a
There is no newspaper or website named the "Lexington Daily Tribune" and the image of the Jesus-lookalike seems to have been floating around the internet since at least 2013 according to TinEye:
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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.
NewsGuard, a company that uses trained journalist to rank the reliability of websites, describes worldnewsdailyreport.com as:
A website that publishes hoaxes and made-up stories that are often widely shared and mistaken for news.
According to NewsGuard the site does not maintain basic standards of accuracy and accountability. Read their full assessment here.
We wrote about worldnewsdailyreport.com before, here are our most recent articles that mention the site:
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