In May of this year, an extremely popular hoax was perpetrated on young people through disreputable social media venues. It was called the Charlie Charlie Challenge and claimed to summon a Mexican demon. There were reports that some people died. We’ll go over how this hoax was done and how to avoid this junk in the future.
What was the Charlie Charlie Challenge?
I’m not going to repeat what this idiocy was as the kids will all know about it. Suffice to say, you speak some kind of chant and it’s supposed to summon a Mexican demon.
It’s a complete hoax. But that didn’t stop fake “news sites” from “reporting” on it saying various teenagers died while performing the summons, others said they were brutally attacked by the demon.
In an article on Doubtful News, writer Sharon Hill (who goes by “idoubtit” on her site) recounts several false reports that she found on various fraudulent news sites. The link to her full article can be found in the References section below.
Hill shares one quote that almost made me laugh out loud, “According to reports, nearly 500 people across the United States have died within six days of playing the challenge.”
And yet somehow all the major news stations managed to miss this story. That’s your first clue.
I’m sharing this news with you because I find these scenarios so frustrating. I would love to see sites like these eradicated through a failure to attract readers. It takes me so much time to look for legitimate sources for the articles I write and to do as much fact-checking as I know how to do on the internet, that when stories like these come up and go viral, it’s really discouraging.
All I can do is assure you I do my best to get the legitimate facts and opinions on the various cryptid topics I cover and tell you the truth to the best of my knowledge.
How to Detect Bogus News Sites
Here’s a quick checklist to determine if you’re reading a real news report or a bogus site:
- If it’s so incredible, why haven’t they shared it with the local news station to be properly investigated and reported?
- Is there an author associated with their report?
- Does it give a date when it was published?
- Are the details consistent with the type of story being reported? For instance, it’s easy to tell when someone is lying about a Bigfoot sighting because details will be either obscure or unrealistic, based on the what is known about Bigfoot behavior.
- What happens if you try to copy their photos from the article – does it let you? If not, that’s a good indication that what they’re showing is fake.
Another clue that I use is, if the webpage takes forever to load due to the 4,000 ads they have plastered all over it, I have to think they will say anything to get you to that page so you can look at their lousy ads.
Protect yourself and your kids by fostering a healthy dose of skepticism.
“If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.”
― Adolf Hitler