Back in 2014, Hitflix.com's Drew McWeeny reported that DC Comics and Warner Brothers had a mandate for their upcoming DC films. The edict? No jokes in any DC superhero projects. No humor that Marvel Studios is well known for, just serious faced heroes facing injustice. After this report, several websites, social media accounts, and blogs spread the news about DC's approach toward their projects' tone. However, this report has been debunked by DC Comics themselves. Not in a press release or interview, but by their finished productions. Take for example the Suicide Squad trailer that was showcased last month. It was filled with dark humor and gags, breaking the so called "no jokes mandate" by WB. Another example, the second Batman V Superman trailer had comedic irony in its dialogue and a smart quip between Batman and Superman, once again the "no jokes mandate" was broken. By now we can see that Drew McWeeny's report was false, taken to be true by many, but ultimately just a rumor.
As I mentioned before, many websites and social pages covered this story, and while reporters covered this "breaking news" they evidently had to go to Hitflix.com and read the article. Imagine how much traffic the website had when thousands of superhero fans navigated to the site, or clicked a link from a Twitter page, to read more on the "no jokes mandate". How much revenue do you think Hitflix must have made that day? That week even, since this topic was being discussed throughout YouTube, Facebook, and Reddit. It would be safe to say that Hitflix received a generous profit for that piece of fake news.
Unfortunately, there are hundreds, maybe even thousands of websites that have used click-bait articles and rumors to bring in web traffic. And it works every time because fans are always on the lookout for new information on their favorite costumed hero or Game of Thrones episode. But this isn't just in the comic book realm of the internet. Sites like The Daily Current, Free Wood Post, World News Daily Report, and Empire News, all have a history of publishing articles that contain misleading information and false rumors. All while receiving profit from the thousands who rush to read how "Rick Santorum is on GrindR".
And that isn't the only thing wrong with "fake news sites", the style of writing by some (in certain instances many) journalists is downright disgusting. Writing as if there were no grammatical or style guidelines for them to follow, using expletives left and right and throwing out fact checking as if it were a Capri Sun pouch.
Of course, there are times when we may have news we feel is legitimate, but if the journalists on sites like The Borowitz Report and Huzlers had respect for the basic core of writing, we wouldn't have rumors published in the first place. So please, for the readers on the internet, don't support the sites who have a record of fake news. And writers, please, respect the pouch.
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