A fake story about a married couple finding out they were twins during the IVF process got snapped up by the mainstream press.
The story of a married couple that discovered they were biological twins after trying in-vitro fertilization became a viral sensation overnight. The only problem is, it wasn’t true. But that didn’t stop dozens of stories from emerging in the press about the fake mix-up.
The story started from an online news sites called the Mississippi Herald, which sounds like a legitimate news source. But as it turns out, the actual local newspaper is the Sun-Herald. The site has only been around for a few months and appears tied to other fake news sites.
The story they ran claims that the husband and wife were given up for adoption at a young age and never told they were twins. When they attempted to conceive at an IVF clinic, the story goes, a lab assistant found that their DNA samples were similar, and found they had both been born on the same day in 1984.
The Mirror Online did some more digging, contacting the Mississippi Sun-Herald, who confirmed that the Mississippi Herald was not them.
The story uses nothing but anonymous sources throughout, claiming that the involved people can’t be named for confidentiality purposes.
“My first reaction was that they must have been related; perhaps they were first cousins, which does happen sometimes. However, looking closer at the samples, I noticed there were too many similarities,” the doctor said according to the story. “With this in mind, I was convinced that both patients were fraternal twins.”
Here are what a few online news sites said about the story once they realized it was fake
Scallywag & Vagabond: A Mississippi married couple have received a shock of their lifetimes after being informed they were biological twins after visiting an IVF clinic. Nevertheless further research may have led to the since ‘viral story’ being another instance of fake news and news media ongoing failure to check verifiable sources along with the temptation to fabricate facts for hits for the sake of advertising revenue.
Metro: A viral story about a married couple only realising they were biological twins after trying IVF has been revealed to be fake. National news publications around the world carried the article yesterday, including Metro.co.uk. However, doubts have now been raised about the legitimacy of the original news outlet to publish the claims.
Mirror: A viral story about a couple who apparently found out they were twins through IVF appears to be fake. The article was published by the ‘Mississippi Herald’ on Thursday and was soon picked up by news outlets around the world, including the Mirror.