- An article made to look very much like a story from ESPN.com appeared on the New York Post’s website. Only ESPN had nothing to do with it.
- The story’s headline implied that hoops legend LeBron James had been caught using performance enhancing drugs.
- Only the article was a total fake. When people clicked on it, it sent them to an athletic site not affiliated with ESPN peddling testosterone boosters.
It turns out fake news isn’t confined to bogus social media posts about President Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Sometimes even LeBron James and ESPN get roped in.
For example, on January 1, Business Insider spotted a shocking headline on the New York Post’s website: “LeBron Devastated After News of His Secret Hit the Tabloids.”
Above the headline were side by side photos of a disapproving Michael Jordan and James, shedding a tear.
What’s LeBron so upset about? If you click on the link, it sends you to a story that looks and feels just like ESPN.com. And the details are salacious.
Turns out LeBron has been taking “special vitamins” which he calls his “secret weapon” allowing him to pack on muscle and presumably dominate on the court.
In the story, LeBron apologizes for lying, and says he did it for the fans. There’s even an apparent quote from NBA Commissioner Adam Silver (following, according to the story, an emergency meeting with LeBron and Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert) in which he claims that “Primal Growth Testosterone is 100% all natural and organic” and “gives athletes a clear advantage.” Regardless, LeBron was being put on probation until further notice.
All of this would be devastating to the Cavaliers and the NBA – if it were true.
Instead, it appears that through a third party tech partnership, a paid advertiser placed Read More Here