Network Of Fake News Sites Used To Promote Real Movie

The story as it appeared

The story as it appeared

20th Century Fox is taking a different approach to marketing its upcoming film, A Cure for Wellness, by using fake news to promote the psychological thriller. These sites are also being used as marketing outlets for the film. As part of this campaign a "fake" wellness site healthandwellness.co was created and we partnered with fake news creators to publish fake news.

The topical if not responsible move saw the headline "BOMBSHELL: Trump and Putin Spotted at Swiss Resort Prior to Election" posted before story detailing an entirely made up account of how about Trump met Putin at a remote wellness centre in the Swiss Alps prior to the U.S. presidential election in November.

The story also features quotes from a "Volmer employee" who claimed he "couldn't, in good conscience, keep this information" to himself.

One story, appearing on the Sacramento Dispatch website, claimed that Donald Trump held a meeting with Vladimir Putin at a remote Swiss clinic in the run-up to the election past year.

A Cure for Wellness, which is due for release this weekend, established plausible-sounding news outlets, which ran weeks' worth of fabricated stories.

The website Liberty Writer's News picked up the story and ran it with the headline: 'Millions Of Americans Are Boycotting Lady Gaga's Super Bowl Show For This 1 Reason!'

Joe Thomas on Justin Gilbert
The Steelers hoped Gilbert would add some youth and depth at the cornerback position in addition to punt and kick return duties. At least they did not give up a high draft pick and can now look to the 2017 draft to find a better replacement for Gilbert.


As detailed by theLead Stories debunking site, the hoax stories were scattered with references to locations, characters and organizations in the film. The Gaga item was picked up by a right-wing Facebook group called "Boycott the National Football League", while another story claiming that Trump had banned vaccinations via executive order was debunked by fact-checking website Snopes last week (which didn't pick up the site's connection to A Cure For Wellness).

Among the sites that posted the fake news included, Sacramento Dispatch, Salt Lake City Guardian, Houston Leader, NY Morning Post and Indianapolis Gazette.

The Reporter said the fake account appears on The Sacramento Dispatch website alongside ads for "A Cure for Wellness".

Maybe it's appropriate that the fake news just made our political discourse sicker, instead of making us sicker.

4 p.m.: Updated to include the websites redirecting back to the movie's site.

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