Antiviral: Here's What's Bullshit on the Internet This Week

Obscure—that is, bad—satire is duping a lot of people this week. It's supposed to be funny. A lot of it's not. And it's really painful. But this is the internet.

No, Blake Griffin didn't smack a shirtless Justin Bieber at Starbucks

LA Clippers forward Blake Griffin did not hit a shirtless Justin Bieber for getting rowdy at Starbucks after ordering a caramel apple macchiato. The made-up story got shared widely by people who didn't realize it originated on a satirical site called Empire Sports. But so many of you wanted to believe.

One Des Moines Register journalist suggested erecting a statue — presumably in Griffin's honor, but hey, I guess it's not totally clear:

For others, just the idea of such a smack-down was enough:


No, the dude who screwed up the Sochi opening ceremony was not killed by the Russian government

Lots of people shared the news that a man responsible for an animatronic snowflake that failed to transform into an Olympic ring committed suicide slash was obviously murdered by the government.

I meannnnn, look, if this quote in the widely shared report didn't tip you off that our old friends at The Daily Currant make up their stories, I can't help you: "'Sure there were stab wounds and bruises all over the body,' admits the lead investigator on the case. 'But who knows what caused them. Maybe he tripped and fell on a set of knives. Right now we're ruling this an accidental death.'"


No, these Girl Scouts are not selling cookies in front of a weed store

This Photoshop job is so bad it's almost beautiful.

That didn't stop a Chicago-based radio host from sharing the pic on a local CBS affiliate's website, asking, "Do you think it’s crazy that these kids’ parents had them set up a stand right in front of this shop?"

Crazy brilliant, if it were legit, but alas.

"People think it's real, but it is clearly not," Girl Scouts of the USA spokesman Joshua Ackley told me in an email.


No, Crystal Pepsi is not coming back*

Sorry, I know, sorry! But Crystal Pepsi isn't coming back. Lots of people have been going nuts this week over the idea of a limited-edition 2014 release of the stuff—including several TV reporters, which makes sense since they're basically the Crystal Pepsi of journalism. (I kid, I kid.)

But the story is made-up. It was posted to The Wall Street Sentinel, a site where a quick trip to the "about" page reveals its news stories are "100% satirical." The Crystal Pepsi rumors spread farther when sites like Uproxx picked up the story. (Its post has since been removed.)

I suspect the people pining for this stuff are too young to remember how unsettling it was to drink. But in case you're still jonesing, the Daily Dot tracked down some Crystal Pepsi available on eBay with a reminder about what happened to one dude who filmed his tasting of a 20-year-old bottle of the rare beverage. (Warning: Vomit.)

*It's worth pointing out that Pepsi didn't respond to any of my several emails and phone messages. So I didn't actually get confirmation from the company that Crystal Pepsi is gone forever, or that rumors of a comeback are bogus. So, you know...


Remember, when in doubt about something you see on the internet, just retweet this instead:


Antiviral is an occasional column in which we run down the worst hoaxes, pranks, Photoshops and straight-out lies blowing up on the internet.