Home Archive Fake News Story: Cambodian Midgets Fight Lion

Fake News Story: Cambodian Midgets Fight Lion

by Brett M. Christensen

Outline:
News story claims that 42 Cambodian Midgets were mutilated in a fight with an African lion while paying spectators looked on (Full commentary below.)


Status:
False

Example:
[Excerpt 1]

Headline:
Lion Mutilates 42 Midgets in Cambodian Ring-Fight

An African Lion much like this is responsible for the death of 28 Cambodian Midgets. Spectators cheered as entire Cambodian Midget Fighting League squared off against African Lion

[Excerpt 2]

The fight was called in only 12 minutes, after which 28 fighters were declared dead, while the other 14 suffered severe injuries including broken bones and lost limbs, rendering them unable to fight back.

Read the entire story



Detailed Analysis:
A “news” story, supposedly released by the BBC, has been spreading rapidly around the Internet via blogs, forums and email. The story claims that 42 members of the Cambodian Midget Fighting League were killed or injured in a bloody battle with an African lion.

The story was originally posted on a web page that was constructed to resemble a genuine BBC News article. However, the story is a fake and the web page that it is displayed on has no association with the BBC. Apparently, the fake article was originally intended as a joke to be shared among a limited number of friends. However, links to the article “escaped” into cyberspace and spread rapidly as such stories often do. The perpetrator has now placed a disclaimer online to explain the details of the hoax. The disclaimer outlines the reason the fake article was created as follows:

It was created to ‘settle’ a dispute between a friend of mine in which he claimed that 40 weaponless midgets could defeat 1 lion in a hypothetical fight. Many of my other friends and I tried to convince him that the lion would definitely win, but he would not back down from his argument. After seeing another fake article posing as BBC about ‘zombism’ in Cambodia, I got the idea to make this fake news article to try and convince him for the final time.

It is not uncommon for fake news stories to circulate rapidly around the Internet. In this case, the spread of the story appears to be unintentional. More commonly, the fake stories originate from satirical websites such as The Onion. Fake news articles about the deaths of William Hung, Michael Jackson, Magic Johnson and others continue to circulate long after the stories were first released.


Importance Notice

After considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.

These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.

Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.

And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.

When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.

I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.

A Big Thank You

I would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.

I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.

Closing Date

Hoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.

Thank you, one and all!

Brett Christensen,
Hoax-Slayer