A webloid is deceptively trying to get people to click on a fake news story about Brad Pitt. The article first delivers an untrue premise, only to switch halfway through to copy Gossip Cop‘s debunking. We can explain what’s going on with this misleading piece.
“Brad Pitt’s Divorce From Angelina Jolie Reportedly ‘Took A Toll’ On His Looks,” reads the headline on Celebrity Insider. This is phrased as a declaration, not a question. The first line expresses mild skepticism, asserting there’s an “unbelievable story” found in “various publications” that Pitt “underwent plastic surgery after his split from Angelina Jolie.” Asks the site, “Is it possible that one of the hottest men on the planet went under the knife?”
The outlet then asserts that “according to CafeMom,” a plastic surgeon contends Pitt “looks to have some filler in his cheeks, mouth, and around the eyes to improve the lines,” while “an unnamed source claims that the 54-year-old went to a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon to get Botox, fillers, and some eye work.” The blog then posits, “Could there be any truth to these rumors?”
It’s only then, in the fourth paragraph, that the online publication acknowledges, “Gossip Cop says absolutely not, and this is just a tabloid’s attempt at end-of-the-year nonsense. Their ‘impeccable’ Pitt source says that if he looks different, it’s because he has stopped drinking and is focused on healthy living.” While we appreciate being given credit for our reporting, there is still reason to take issue.
As noted above, the headline is “Brad Pitt’s Divorce From Angelina Jolie Reportedly ‘Took A Toll’ On His Looks.” The same phrasing is used for the URL and for the meta data. That is what is appearing on Google (see screengrab below). So when people search for Pitt, they’re seeing what wrongly appears to be a factual statement about Pitt’s divorce taking a toll on his looks. It’s only buried within the actual article that readers are told the truth. The fake news is what people are being presented with overall, instead of the real news.
Furthermore, the webloid also misrepresented the origins of the allegations. While the site refers to CafeMom, that outlet actually took the claims from Life & Style. Indeed, it was that tabloid Gossip Cop busted a few days ago for falsely asserting Pitt had a “new face” from plastic surgery. It’s bizarre to first suggest a rumor is true, copy it from a third party instead of the original source, and then dispute it.
CafeMom is guilty of a similar practice. Its headline, “Brad Pitt Reportedly Got Plastic Surgery Because Divorce Took a ‘Toll on His Looks,'” suggest the claims are true. But in the accompanying article, the site admits “these rumors sound far-fetched.” Still, like Celebrity Insider, it packaged them in a way that promoted the wrong allegations instead of delivering the straight truth. It seems these places just wanted to offer a seemingly scandalous Brangelina story for clicks, regardless of accuracy and consistency. That’s not how journalism is supposed to work.
Gossip Cop has determined this story is totally false.