Verify: Is Carnival offering free cruises?
In a world of Facebook scrolling, a quick share of a post or a like may seem innocent enough. But a recent fake post is yet another example of how we should stop and think before we press that button.
The post is meant to take advantage of the public's sympathy for hurricane victims, with the title "Carnival Cruise Lines will now offer FREE cruises." The post continues that Carnival is offering cruises to "those effected (sic) by the Hurricane."
"Just call Carnival," the post read. "Or message John Heald and say you want a stress free cruise with (hashtag) Carnivalfamily and they will have you set up on a 4-7 night cruise of your choice. Just pay taxes and port fees. You will also receive $100 per cabin OBC."
The post is completely bogus, but it has still gained a lot of attention, with well over 75,000 shares as of last week. John Heald, who was mentioned in the post, is a senior cruise director, and took to Facebook to speak out against the post.
"It is a fake page," he wrote. "And we have reported the author accordingly."
On a Facebook Live, Heald had even more harsh words for the people that did this.
"I know exactly who it is," he said of the poster. "He has the brain capacity of something that lies on its back at the bottom of a pond. And he has this little gang of a Facebook group. Just sad people. Just sad."
The post appeared to have been made on a website called breakingnews247.net, which allows people to quickly post an article that can be shared on Facebook. While this is a great opportunity for small-time bloggers that want to create an article quickly, its also been a valuable tool for those looking to spread fake news in order to gain likes or followers, something called "like fishing."
As for Heald, he said he had a strong message for those that wrote this fake post.
"Say what you'd like about me," said Heald. "I really don't care. But to do that to hurt other people like that - you really are a bottom feeder."