Justin Bieber And HollywoodLife: The Problem With HollywoodLies
On Wednesday, Justin Bieber blasted HollywoodLife for its practice of publishing “untruthful” stories. He is not the first star to call out the online publication, but Gossip Cop commends him for helping to shine a spotlight on faux celebrity journalism. Since Gossip Cop was founded in 2009, it’s been our mission to “bust bad dish,” and HollywoodLife has been a big part of that.
On a weekly, and sometimes daily, basis the webloid is caught spreading misinformation, engaging in sensational clickbait, and passing off seemingly fabricated “exclusives” as fact (such as the example above right). Rarely, however, are these stories anything but fiction. And even a casual observer can see, with the passage of time, that a shocking amount of what the outlet claims about certain celebrities never pans out to be true. Gossip Cop has documented many of the outright lies, and has even pointed out times when the bad blog has done several posts with an untrue premise, only to then flip-flop claiming to know the “exclusive truth.” In many of those instances, that accurate information was essentially stolen from an article Gossip Cop had previously posted.
These tactics, which include picking up tabloid reports without any time spent fact-checking them, are all designed to game Google and mislead readers to score traffic. Gossip Cop has more than 700 examples in our archives. That includes false tales of Robert Pattinson dating Riley Keough, a disturbing post asking “Miley Cyrus: Is She Alive?,” stories wrongly casting Jennifer Lawrence and Taylor Swift in film projects, and dozens of wrong hookup, breakup, engagement and pregnancy articles. Feel free to put “HollywoodLife” in our search box for proof.
HollywoodLife is so afraid of our facts-based site, the webloid has blocked us on Twitter. The site has even taken to blocking Bieber fans, who’ve taken exception to their deceptive practices. Thankfully, they can’t block ALL of the singer’s fans and others who are sick and tired of sites making up stories. And we won’t be silent.
Due to all of its manipulations and inaccuracies, Gossip Cop has even challenged HollywoodLife staffers to take lie detector tests if they truly stand by their reporting. We’ve even offered to generously donate money to charity for each questionable story that passes a polygraph. Our requests have never received a response. But it’s our hope that Bieber’s posts will serve as a wake-up call to the outlet and its ilk. We further call on other stars to join Bieber in exposing HollywoodLies, a nickname it has undoubtedly earned.
Gossip Cop strongly believes in the First Amendment and the freedom of the press. But you cannot mask deceptive stories under the guise of journalism when the key tenet of journalism is accuracy. Now that HollywoodLife got nailed (again) for fabricating stories, we highly suggest the folks behind it do some real soul-searching. Celebrity journalism can be fun. It can be silly. It can be scandalous. But it should be accurate and fair, and not harmful or fabricated.