HOUSTON -- Anytime marijuana is mentioned on air and online, it gets your attention.
Both sides, for and against the legalization of marijuana, defend their viewpoints through Facebook. However, what happens with opinion turns into deception?
A “news” article titled "Marijuana now legal in state of Texas" has been shared more than 71,000 times on Facebook, fooling thousands of people. Viewers reached out to KHOU 11 News to verify the source.
The story behind the title reads, [sic] “In a 10-2 vote marijuana has now been legalized in the state of Texas. Texas' first marijuana dispensaries said to open up in Corpus Christs, TX April 12, 2017. We were out speaking with local resident of Corpus Christi today who were very excited to say the least of the legalization.”
This article is false. The fate of more than a dozen marijuana bills in the Texas Legislature is unknown.
React365.com is the source of the fake news. The site’s homepage directs people to “prank your friends now” guiding them to another page where users can create fake news titles and descriptions to fool people online.
A background search into the site reveals Nicolas Gouriou registered the site under the organization name, Mediavibes SARL. Gouriou’s registered address is in Binic, France.
React365.com is responsible for other headlines like "Great White Sharks Found In the Mississippi” and "Sex Tape: Hillary and Donald." Both fake news articles are being shared hundreds of thousands of times, and they’re 100 percent false.
State of Texas website: https://texas.gov/
Texas Legislature bill look-up: http://www.legis.state.tx.us/billlookup/billnumber.aspx
Help our journalists VERIFY the news. Do you know someone else we should interview for this story? Did we miss anything in our reporting? Is there another story you'd like us to VERIFY? Click here.
© 2018 KHOU-TV