One of the problems with fake news is how quickly it spreads. The internet can be great for delivering real news. But it can also inadvertently help wrong stories go viral. Gossip Cop can highlight three recent examples involving Lady Gaga, Brad Pitt and the Spice Girls, all from the last few weeks.
Earlier this month, Us Weekly claimed Gaga was engaged to Christian Carino. The tabloid alleged he proposed to the pop star after receiving approval from her father. Tellingly, though, the gossip magazine had no specific details on when, where or how Carino popped the question. That's probably because it didn't happen. In fact, within hours of the article coming out, a rep for Gaga exclusively told Gossip Cop that it was "untrue" she was engaged. Unfortunately, that didn't stop HollywoodLife from making up Taylor Kinney's supposed his reaction to his former girlfriend's non-existent engagement. And the Daily Mail thought it was surprising that Gaga wasn't wearing an engagement ring when she stepped out after the report was published, failing to realize she wasn't wearing a ring because she wasn't engaged. Other publications that still ran with the untrue engagement contention included Newsweek.
This week, the Australian tabloid New Idea announced Pitt was "in love" with a "princess." The article claimed the actor was secretly dating Charlotte Casiraghi, who is the daughter of Princess Caroline of Hanover. Casiraghi herself is not actually a princess. More importantly, she has no romantic relationship with Pitt whatsoever. The false story was manufactured simply because they both happened to attend the recent LACMA Art and Film Gala in Los Angeles. A Pitt pal exclusively assured Gossip Cop he and Casiraghi aren't a couple, backing up our inherent suspicion that a gossip magazine from Down Under would score such a scoop about an A-list Hollywood star and an L.A. event. But other places apparently did not share our rightful skepticism, as the entirely false dating claim was picked up by blogs like CafeMom and tabloids such as Life & Style.
Over the weekend, British newspaper The Sun alleged all five Spice Girls were set for a reunion in 2018. A so-called "source" was quoted as saying, "Getting Victoria [Beckham] to agree has been a coup for everyone involved, given she has always been the person holding back on a reunion." With her involvement, the supposed insider maintained, "As it stands, they will be working together on a series of projects, which will include an album and a TV special celebrating the Spice Girls." But a contact with whom Gossip Cop spoke called the claims "nonsense," and Beckham's rep exclusively told us, "Victoria has a lot of love and respect for the Spice Girls and the fun they had, but her future focus is fashion and family only." The singer-turned-fashion designer herself has said that for years, yet a number of outlets still regurgitated the inaccurate reunion claims, including NME and Business Insider.
What all three of these examples have in common is that after the initial reports were published online, many others rushed to copy and paste the claims without fact-checking. The contentions were just spread, over and over again, regardless of whether they had any validity. That's exactly why rumors such as these end up going viral. More and more places pick up the original information without first verifying whether or not the allegations are accurate. As a result, the internet becomes flooded with falsehoods and fans end up reading that instead of the truth. But Gossip Cop is committed to separating all the fiction from the facts to help remedy that.
Gossip Cop has determined this story is totally false.