(Photo: Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko)
Reports that the U.S. would be raising its drinking age limit to 25 has been confirmed as a hoax – a story made up by a mock news website. The story about the rise had gone viral over recent weeks with millions online reading about the supposed raise in drinking age limit, and many even expressed outrage at the news.
The hoax news was initially posted on the Sunday Times Daily, a website that writes made-up stories to shock and surprised people and even asks readers to try and "trick your friends by sharing the item on Facebook, Twitter and other social network."
A recent post on the website claimed that the legal drinking age in the United States and the UK would be raised to 25 years, another said that in Canada it will be raised to 23 years.
Many people who read the news believed that the story was genuine and many have been complaining on social media sites about the injustice of the drinking age being raised.
The fake news was so successful in tricking people as the website uses logos from authentic news sources to offer authenticity to itself. Logos such as those from the BBC and ABC can be seen on the site.
However, readers with a keen eye for detail will have noticed that the website also comes with a disclaimer which reads, "We are sorry, but you were tricked! It was just a joke...Don't worry, you are not the only one. [Millions of] people already fell for this. If you liked the joke, you can share it and trick your friends. Also you can create a joke of your own clicking the button below!"
Previously the website has also promoted other hoaxes that have gone viral, such as news that Uruguayan soccer player Luis Suarez, has been tested positive for the use of banned substances.
More recently another hoax had claimed that England had been granted a rematch against Uruguay, having initially been defeated by the South American team in the World Cup currently taking place in Brazil.
One other post that went very viral recently was news that all schools in the United States would be closing for six months from July 18. That post had a number of students celebrating on social media, however, of course the news post proved to be yet another hoax from the website.
The recent post about the legal drinking age in the U.S. being raised has already received more than 10 million pageviews on Facebook, while several millions shared and liked the post on the social network over just a few days.