Fake CNN website taken offline

A website that published fake news stories from CNN has been taken offline after receiving a threatening legal letter from the cable network alleging copyright and trademark infringement. The Fake CNN News Generator was online only a week, but generated a lot of controversy after ersatz news stories were picked up by local outlets and reported as real.

Phony stories about the death of musician Dave Matthews, or the Olsen twins attending local universities, for example, appeared in a number of local newspapers, as well as regional radio and TV news reports. The rumors were so widely believed; several universities issued statements denying the Olsen twins would be attending their institutions. And Dave Matthews, who reportedly died of a drug overdose, denied the story on the band's official website.

Police contacted the fake news site after teachers and the parents of students complained about libelous stories generated by the site. The site's creators think this is the reason CNN shut them down and that copyright infringement was merely an excuse. A CNN spokeswoman said the company didn't comment on legal issues.

News source: Winbeta

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