June 12, 2015 11:26 am
Updated: June 16, 2015 10:48 am

A lemonade raid, a racist reminder, and other things that were real and fake online this week

When the cops shut them down, Andria Green was not amused.

Screengrab, Global News

WARNING: This post contains images that are graphic in nature. Discretion is advised.

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Working in the online world can be a bit of a minefield — the web is full of fakes, frauds and hoaxes. Sorting through them all can be equally frustrating and entertaining. Global News spends a lot of time verifying online material, as do sites like Storyful (some even read through reams of documents, like the Verification Handbook, explaining how). What better thing to write a weekly column about?

Here’s this week’s edition of real and fake stuff on the web (and here’s even more fake stuff from the past month).

Lemonade raid

Police officers allegedly shut down a lemonade stand run by two girls in Texas this week, reportedly because they didn’t have a permit from the city.

Andria and Zoey Green, 7- and 8-year-old sisters from Overton, Texas, were looking to earn money to take their father to Splash Kingdom water park for Father’s Day.

So, their mother said, they set up a lemonade stand on the street in front of their house on a dead-end cul-de-sac.


She told a reporter from the local newspaper in nearby Tyler that the police chief came to shut down the stand because it lacked a permit from the city.

In an interview with the Tyler Morning Telegraph, police chief Clyde Carter reportedly said that he and the city secretary would waive the permit fee of $150 but that the girls would need a health department permit.

The story was making the rounds online:



USA Today even did an interview with the sisters. Andria was not amused:


We called the police department to get a confirmation. “That story was made up by a local reporter,” an Overton police officer told us.

But what about the story making the rounds online? “That was made up by Kenneth Dean of the local paper,” he said.

Dean’s response: “LOL. Sorry but the story was not made up… The original reason the stand was shut down was due to the girls not having a permit. They did offer to waive all city fees if the family got a health permit with the county.”

“They can still not sell the lemonade, because of the Cottage Food Law in Texas, which prohibit the sell (sic) of lemonade made by an individual at their home,” he told Global News.

The law, Texas House Bill 970, in fact does prohibit the sale of lemonade. It allows the sale of baked goods, candy, nuts, fruit pie, popcorn, cereal, pickles, or mustard among other things.

Dean’s paper then released video of the police making the lemonade raid stop on the cul-de-sac.

Despite the police denial, it appears that this story is:


Racist poster hoax

A poster at an apartment building in Irvine, California, drew the ire of social media users because of a racist reminder on the left side:


Twitter users were not pleased…

… and blamed UC Irvine for the poster (the apartment complex is near the campus).


UC Irvine denied it had anything to do with it:

UC Irvine is not the manager of the apartments, the management company is Equity Residential, as seen on the bottom of the poster.

“It is fake,” Marty McKenna, a representative of Equity Residential, told Global News on Friday.

The community manager at the housing complex told us that the flyer was not created or posted by anyone at the community or within the company.

“The Irvine Police Department is investigating the source,” Natasha Gauthier said Friday, which the Irvine Police Department confirmed to Global News.

The racist poster story is undoubtedly…


The lives and deaths of Rue McClanahan

Some social media users this week were mourning the passing of Golden Girls actress Rue McClanahan.

The problem? She died five years ago after suffering a stroke.

The same thing happened last year, with social media users mourning the death of the actress who played Blanche.

The Washington Post pointed out in an article at the time that the trend tended to happen around the anniversary of her death, and that it may have started with tributes.

Fake Rohingya photos

The Rohingya crisis prompted discussion on social media this week, and some of the photos being shared were rather upsetting. (Warning again, graphic photos below)

As pointed out by the BBC, “On Facebook and Twitter, the photograph has been cited as an example of Buddhist violence against Rohingyas. But the picture is not from Burma at all — it was actually taken in the aftermath of an earthquake in China in April 2010.”

With a file from James Armstrong

© 2015 Shaw Media

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