Over the past 24 hours, Twitter has been abuzz with a viral rumour claiming that an employee of beer company Budweiser has been urinating in the beer produced at Budweiser Brewery Experience at Fort Collins, United States.
This claim is false; we found that the rumour originated from a satire website called Foolish Humor, which has a disclaimer stating that the content on their website is fictional and "does not correspond to reality".
From Foolish Humour to Real News
The story first appeared on May 8, 2020 on Foolish Humor with the title, "Budweiser employee acknowledges having been pissing into beer tanks for 12 years."
We did a reverse image search on the featured image, and found an Associated Press photo from 2013. According to the caption, the person in the image is Nick Mills, general manager of a Budweiser Brewery in Lysander, New York.
The rest of the Foolish Humor article spoke about a Walter Powell (which the website claimed was an alias to keep him anonymous), who has apparently "acknowledged through a statement he has been pissing inside Budweiser beer tanks for 12 years".
The story was then picked up by an obscure website called Breaking News and Religion, which failed to provide a satire disclaimer, despite adding a link to Foolish Humor at the end. Looking through other article on Breaking News and Religion, we did not find any satire content, nor did the website contain any such disclaimer.
On June 30, Foolish Humor published a follow-up satire article to its previous one, claiming that Budweiser had openly acknowledged the transgressions of its employee.
This time the article was picked up by Hyderabad-based newspaper Hans India, which ran the story without mentioning that it is a satire piece. The article was later updated by Hans India to reflect the satire angle.
Hans India wrote in the updated article, "Many missed reading the disclaimer, which mentions, 'This website is a humorous page whose sole purpose is entertainment. The content of Foolish Humor is fiction and does not correspond to reality'." However, they failed to mention that they themselves had fallen for the rumour and ran it as a real story.
By Thursday, Budweiser became one of the most trending topics in India on Twitter, as many users started sharing memes linking Budweiser to urine.
Going by the Twitter posts, it would appear that many are falling for this entire story.
However, fact still remains that it originated from a satire website, which has specifically put a disclaimer stating that the content on the website is fictional "and does not correspond to reality."
BOOM reached out to Budweiser for a comment, and the article will be updated upon getting a response.
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