CORTLAND, N.Y. — Adam Levine's rental car did not break down in Cortland. He did not have a burger at Hairy Tony's, nor did he praise Cortland residents for their benevolence and generosity.
A fake news article circulating on Facebook claims that pop star Adam Levine praised the residents of Cortland for coming to his aid when his entourage's rental car broke down as he was passing through central New York.
The story, published by the self-proclaimed "fantasy news" website newsdaily12.com, claims that Levine's rental car broke down outside the city limits of Cortland and several drivers pulled over to help him out. It was shared by dozens of people on Facebook Monday morning.
In fact, a number of nearly identical articles have appeared on other fake news sites, each claiming that a celebrity "had this to say" about a small town.
In April, Snopes.com debunked the stories, calling it the "A Celebrity Had a Flat Tire in Your Town" hoax.
For those looking for more evidence, a disclaimer on the newsdaily12.com website reads:
To be clear for those who lack any ability to recognize satire: The articles on newsdaily12.com are not real. They’re meant to be humorous and they’re for your entertainment. It’s satire.
Besides the fact that the website's disclaimer informs its readers that its content is purely satirical, there are a number of other red flags in the article that should tell us this is not a real news story.
For one, the article is not dated, meaning there is no way of knowing when the alleged radio interview with Levine happened. It also does not specify on which radio station Levine was interviewed, something a real news article would likely mention.
Even a small city like Cortland is not safe from the onslaught of 'fake news' websites that have popped up in recent years.