Unethical Website Of The Month: News 4 KTLA

NOT breaking news; web hoaxes like this are the scourge of the web...

NOT breaking news: Web hoaxes like this are the scourge of the web…

Yet another despicable news hoax site—they are all despicable—News 4 KTLA crossed into especially vile territory with this headline yesterday:

Massive Bumble Bee Recall After 2 Employees Admit Cooking A Man And Mixing Him With A Batch Of Tuna

First, the headline even doesn’t match the story under it, which mentions nothing about  “mixing” human remains with tuna, or a recall. The story, a little checking reveals, is based on an genuine tragedy, company employee José Melena’s accidental death in October 2012. His remains were not “mixed with a batch of tuna,” however, and has absolutely nothing to do with the Bumble Bee tuna recall announced this month.

So let’s see…these lying, irresponsible low-life pranksters,

  • … think its hilarious to turn a man’s tragic death into a hoax for their own juvenile amusement,
  • …risk doing gratuitous and malicious tangible financial and reputation damage to a food company, endangering investments and jobs, and
  • …induce gullible, trusting social media users to spread these “humorous” lies and become unwitting accessories to the hoaxers’ irresponsible act of misinformation and web pollution.

I’ve searched: News 4 KTLA has no disclaimers to warn readers that it’s a fake news site, and even includes real stories to make sure as many people are deceived as possible. Snopes was on this one lightning fast—bravo.

Every time I flag one of these miserable websites, someone writes in that I have no sense of humor and it was obviously just a harmless joke that only gullible fools fell for, and they had it coming. New policy: I’m going to just ban those commenters from now on. They are responsible for encouraging scum like the jerks behind The News Nerd, this site and the rest. They don’t belong on an ethics site, and are not welcome here.