Creator of fake prank news site says it's all in fun - WSMV News 4

Creator of fake prank news site says it's all in fun

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Fake news stories have impacted local business and officials. (WSMV) Fake news stories have impacted local business and officials. (WSMV)

If you were online today, chances are you ran across a news story that didn't seem real and probably wasn't.

Many of those made up stories all come from the same source.

Channel 4 tracked down the man behind a site used to create these type of stories, and he's sticking by his website.

His name is Korry Scherer and he’s from Milwaukee, WI. Channel 4 confirmed he is behind at least seven prank news sites where users can create a fake story.

It can be anything they want to cook up with flashy headlines and graphic images.

Scherer said it's not his fault people are taking it at face value, but Middle Tennessee businesses and agencies say all the misinformation floating around is making a grave impact.

Articles about questionable food at local restaurants, corruption allegations at a sheriff's department and reptiles in the river have all been floating around the internet.

None of it is true, yet fake news articles have many believing.

“No, there has not been an alligator living in the Duck River,” said Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency spokesman Barry Cross.

Cross has repeated that line a lot over the past several weeks. He said the fake news articles about alligators in local waters caught on like wildfire.

“When those stories get out there they have a life of its own,” Cross said.

Cross has had to field calls and send out press releases making sure people know it's all fake.

“What we should not be doing is taking everything at face value,” Scherer said.

It takes just minutes to click, write and create a story.

“You see it's a joke and it's humorous and fun, and it's not intended to be disrespectful or offend anyone,” Scherer said.

Scherer said he does not condone pranks that hurt businesses, but said creators and consumers need to take some responsibility.

“If I were really concerned about it I would look deeper into it, and that is what all human beings should be doing, period,” Scherer said.

Scherer said he didn't create the site to make a point, but said it does highlight serious issues with how people perceive information.

“Be a smart person and figure out if it's real or not and don't take everything so seriously,” he said.

Scherer has taken several articles down that people say have hurt or offended them, but there isn't an easy report button to get to if you want an article taken down.

He said again, people have to do their research to find him and his contact information.

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