NEWS

HollywoodLife

HollywoodLife was relaunched in 2009 by Bonnie Fuller, a former editor of the tabloids Star and Us Weekly. The website is part of Penske Media Corporation, which also owns the trades TVLine, Deadline and Variety. And while those three industry outlets are known for their credible and accurate reporting, the same cannot be said for HollywoodLife. Over its near decade in business, HollywoodLife has published so many verifiably untrue and fake news stories that it’s earned the nickname “HollywoodLies.”

There are a number of ways in which HollywoodLife seemingly peddles falsehoods. Sometimes the site picks up inaccurate claims originally printed in tabloids (like Star, for example) and regurgitates them online without even bothering to fact-check the magazines’ assertions. Oftentimes, after Gossip Cop debunks those tabloid contentions, HollywoodLies flip-flops and suddenly and disingenuously purports to know “the truth.”

The website’s modus operandi, at times, also appears to include wholly manufacturing articles. On a nearly daily basis, the outlet seemingly pretends to have “exclusives” involving various top stars. Sometimes these apparent fabrications are provably wrong, while in other cases its assertions are obvious and made-up, such as claiming a new mother is “happy” and “in love” with her first child.

Quite often, the blog takes a topic in the news and twists it into fake news by concocting supposed details related to a press-worthy story. Its goal, it appears, is to garner traffic by exploiting highly-searched subjects. Virtually all of its allegedly “exclusive” reports include quotations from suspiciously unnamed and seemingly untraceable sources. In fact, there is almost no transparency to those articles and, in a sense, HollywoodLies banks on its readers simply trusting it.

The pace at which the website churns out questionable content that ultimately gets debunked led HollywoodLife to become the most disproven outlet by Gossip Cop in 2017. The outlet took over the title of “worst offender” that was previously held in 2016 by the supermarket tabloid the National Enquirer. In 2017, Gossip Cop busted HollywoodLies for its array of fake news and untrue reports an astounding 643 times.

But it is not only Gossip Cop that has questioned whether the website is becoming a fabrication factory. Over the years, celebrities ranging from Kylie Jenner to Niall Horan have called out HollywoodLies for its inaccurate stories. Selena Gomez told fans on Instagram that the outlet is “never true,” and branded it “the worst” in an interview with Billboard. Justin Bieber, who has deemed the blog “untruthful,” “hurtful” and “garbage,” even petitioned to have it shut down.

Over the years, Gossip Cop has reached out to HollywoodLife’s management about its phony reports and provably wrong articles, but our concerns about the site’s accuracy have fallen on deaf ears. Additionally, rather than looking to Gossip Cop for guidance with our fact-checked stories, like most other legitimate outlets do, HollywoodLies has blocked us on Twitter.

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