A fake news website has been spreading panic and disinformation among social media users in St Lucia with shocking headlines declaring death and scandal.
Its latest target is Soca Star Nicole David who was forced to release a video on social media over the weekend to prove she had not been arrested in the United States with illegal drugs, as the website had falsely claimed.
The fake news website sent gossip mills spinning early Saturday morning with an explosively false story that David, who is known for hits such as “Put your waist into it” and “Bounce”, was busted by authorities at JFK airport while trying to smuggle cocaine strapped to her body.
In the video, David appears alongside an unidentified woman who states emphatically, “Hello Facebook Nicole David is fine. She’s not arrested for any drugs or anything. Sick people!!! The diva is independent she’s makes her own money. She’s in sandals at sandals regency la toc right now as we speak. ”
David then jumps in to say, “That’s right. Nicole David live and direct, ok? Stop the propaganda! Thank you.”
Before Nicole David, the website falsely reported the death of comedian Carlton “Coakes” Cyril, causing much alarm as documented by columnist Earl Bousquet who spoke to the comedian after the story began to spread.
“The horror of his alleged death now behind me, Coakes would then tell me and even worse horror story,” Bousquet writes in the Voice Newspaper.
“Bousquet,” he said, “this thing is on a fake news website and it is causing real problems. My sister all the way in America heard this thing and they cannot control her yet.”
As for David, she returned to Facebook on Sunday to thank her fans who defended her following the publishing of the fake news story.
“I am grateful to these people who never for one moment had a doubt and defended me, even got angry at those who shared and got a kick out of something so serious and damaging to one’s character.” she stated. “
Bousquet, a veteran journalist, goes on to write “I was nearly shocked that I lived to see false news being publicly offered as truth, leading to the creation of that other term “Fact Checking” – the process now being highly recommended for readers everywhere to be able to tell if any story is true, no matter where it is published, including the mainstream media.”