In a stunning example of how quickly fake news can be spread as fact, CNN was accused on Thursday of broadcasting 30 minutes of porn through its Boston cable feed. It was supposedly aired instead of Anthony Bourdain's Part Unknown at 11pm.
As reports started to spread across the Internet, Jeff Carlson, senior VP and general manager of RCN Boston said the company was “in the process of researching this incident but see no evidence our CNN network feed was compromised last evening in Boston.”
But adding credence to the claim, Variety reported
that CNN admitted to the error, though wouldn't accept any blame. “The RCN cable operator in Boston aired inappropriate content for 30 minutes on CNN last night. CNN has asked for an explanation,” CNN said.
Well, it seems to have been a hoax.
Variety released a retraction, stating that "the statement [from CNN] was misinterpreted as a factual assessment of what transpired."
“Despite media reports to the contrary, RCN assures us that there was no interruption of CNN’s programming in the Boston area last night,” said a CNN in a new statement.
Twitter user @solikarose is accused of starting the fake news with a tweet.
It spread from there, through retweets and stories on blogs and news sites (including Variety, The New York Post and The Next Web).
The twitter user @solikarose has since changed her account to private and has yet to talk to reporters to explain what really prompted her initial post.
Too bad for CNN; this may have actually been good for its ratings!
CNN denies airing porn on Thanksgiving night [CNET]
CNN Did Not Go Blue In Boston: Porn Claim Was A Hoax [Deadline]