Numerous Outlets Duped By Fake News Story On NBA And NC Anti-Gay Law

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April 11, 2016 2:52 p.m.
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Several news sites issued corrections Monday after citing a fake news story claiming that the NBA had given North Carolina an ultimatum to repeal the new anti-LGBT law within a month or the league would move the 2017 All-Star game out of Charlotte.

The story appeared on a website purporting to be ABC News, abcnews.com.co.

The fake story included a fake quote from NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, even though the league has not commented on the law since it’s initial press release condemning the law.

Cleveland.com picked up the fake story and combined it with an Associated Press report on the law that bars local measures protecting LGBT people from discrimination and limits employees ability to sue over workplace discrimination of all kinds. The site’s vice president of content, Chris Quinn, apologized on Monday

“We combined it with an Associated Press story about the North Carolina controversy but left the AP byline on what we published,” Quinn wrote. “That made it appear that the Associated Press had been duped by the impostor website. That’s not fair to the Associated Press, a valued partner for cleveland.com.”

NBC Sports’ ProBasketballTalk also ran with the fake news story, but deleted the post after issuing a correction on Monday, according to Forbes.

The website on which the fake story appears also includes headlines like “New McDonald’s In Scottsdale Run Entirely By Robots.” The site lists what appears to be the Westboro Baptist Church’s phone number for any readers with complaints.

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