Did a Saudi man named Mustafa Ali Hamad eat two of his four wives after getting stranded for 13 days in the desert after a car crash? 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 originated from an article published by World News Daily Report on January 14, 2019 titled "Saudi man survived 13 days stranded in desert by eating two of his four wives" (archived here) which opened:
A Saudi man and two of his four wives have miraculously survived after a tragic car crash left them stranded in the scorching heat of the Saudi desert for 13 days reports the Riyadh Herald.
Mustafa Ali Hamad, 41, and his four wives were traveling to a family greeting near Ash Shalfa when they took a wrong turn during a sand storm and crashed their vehicle, which killed one of Hamad's wife on the spot.
For three days, they were left in the hot scorching sun with barely any water and no food until Hamad decided to send two of his wives in search of help, himself not being able to do so because of his medical condition.
Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail and they would not have seen it didn't come from a real news website:
A Saudi man and two of his four wives have miraculously survived after a tragic car crash left them stranded in the scorching heat of the Saudi desert for 13 days reports the Riyadh Herald. Mustafa Ali Hamad, 41, and his four wives were traveling to a family greeting near Ash Shalfa when they took
There is no publication named the "Riyadh Herald", it is a name made up by the writers of the site and has been used in several of their stories.
The man pictured in the story is really from Saudi Arabia but his name is Khalid Mohsin Shaeri and he became the poster child for the obesity epidemic affecting the kingdom:
Why the Middle East is struggling under the weight of an obesity epidemic.
He later lost an enormous amount of weight:
In Saudi Arabia, a morbidly obese man who had to be airlifted to a hospital six months ago has lost more than half his body weight and is on the road to stable health, according to Saudi media reports.
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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