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HOAX - 'Charles Manson Granted Parole'E


Circulating report claims that notorious criminal Charles Manson has been granted parole and will soon walk free.

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Brief Analysis

The claims in the report are untrue. Charles Manson has not been granted parole. The story comes from the 'entertainment' website Empire News, an entity that specializes in publishing all manner of nonsense disguised as news reports. Nothing published on Empire News should be taken seriously.


Charles Manson Granted Parole

Corcoran, California – One of the most famous killers in the American prison system will be walking free.  On Tuesday Charles Manson, who is now 79 years old, was granted parole by the California Board of Parole and authorized by California Governor Jerry Brown.

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Detailed Analysis

Viral Report Claims Charles Manson Given Parole

According to a report that is circulating rapidly via social media, notorious killer Charles Manson has been granted parole and is set to walk free from prison. The report, which has raised considerable consternation as it travels the interwebs, claims that authorities have decided to release Manson and other elderly prisoners in an effort to relieve prison overcrowding.

Report is a Hoax

However, the report, which was originally published on the Empire News website, is just a silly hoax. Charles Manson has not been granted parole. His next parole hearing is set for 2027 and has not been brought forward as claimed.

Nothing on Empire News is True

Empire News is a publication that churns out a stream of fanciful nonsense disguised as news. Like its sister site Empire Sports, the site is apparently intended to be satirical and entertaining. Nothing published on either site should be taken seriously. Nevertheless, because its articles are presented as news reports, many readers believe that Empire News stories are true and tend to share them with friends.

But a quick appraisal of other stories on the site should get your BS meter ticking rapidly. Even the author bio on the Manson story is an indication of the site's veracity:
I was a member of the first graduating class at Harvard University in 1642. I was cryogenically frozen and brought back to life in 1981.

Fake News Websites Increasingly Common

Good satire is important and can play a role as both entertainment and social commentary. But, unfortunately, more and more fake-news 'satire' websites have appeared online in recent years. Many of the current crop of pseudo-news sites cross the line between satire and outright silliness.

Check Before Sharing

It is wise to fact check any news report that comes your way via social media or email before you share it. Especially if the report covers a strange or controversial topic or seems far-fetched.

A quick check of a news aggregator such as Google News should allow you to see if a story is true. For example, if Charles Manson really had been granted parole, many high profile news outlets around the world would have reported it. Thus, verifying the story via multiple news sources would have been a trivial task.

Last updated: June 8, 2014
First published: June 8, 2014
By Brett M. Christensen
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