You might have seen a story being shared around on Facebook. A sad, story that does everything to all but force the teardrops from your eyes. A story about a dying five year old boy's final wish being to live to see Christmas. The boy's their parents brought in a man dressed as Santa and the boy died in Santa's arms, his final wish completed and everyone cried in their cubicles reading the story. Here, check it out, and then join me back in the article when you're done.
Are you back? Are you ready? Remember all those stories about fake news we've been writing about? Okay. Get ready. Get your crying eyes replaced with big confused eyes. Gizmodo noticed that the Knoxville News Sentinel, which reported the original story, just retracted it, and it gets odder.
Although the man playing the Santa said he won't give the family's name out of concerns for their privacy, he also won't give the name of the hospital, the names of the medical staff, or even the day it happened. According to Gizmodo, CNN called up every hospital in the area and came up with nothing, there have been no obituaries. Mediaite found no obituaries of five years old boys to die under such circumstances.
Gizmodo also notes the details in the story— including a five year old having a fully coherent conversation before dying— seems on its face odd.
Local station WBIR claims its corroborated the information, but refuses to say how it knows this in the interest of privacy.
So I dunno man, did a man who looks exactly like Santa help create a fake news story that everyone from your aunt to even Dan Rather end up sharing? Either way, this story is bananas. Guys, please don't make up deeply sad news stories. It will just be very weird when they're ultimately proven wrong.
What do you think though? Do you think it's insane that Santa Claus is in the fake news game? Will you be able to trust your gifts!?!? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter at @WhatsTrending. Well. Merry Christmas I guess!!!!