One of the challenges facing the media in 2017 is the relentless onslaught of fake news. The persistent, insinuating presence of fake news was a major factor in the US presidential election, and one of the reasons that Oxford Dictionaries chose "post-truth" as its word of the year 2016.
Buzzfeed News has been tracking these falsehoods, and recently reported on the most widely shared hoax stories of the year. Using the social trending tracker BuzzSumo, Buzzfeed found the top-performing fake stories from 96 different fake news platforms. They are as follows. The number refers to the amount of Facebook shares, comments and reactions to the piece.
And remember, folks - these are all fake.
Top Five Fake Political News Stories
5. RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE To Reunite And Release Anti Donald Trump Album - from "heaviermetal.net" - 560,000.
4. FBI Agent Suspected in Hilary Email Leaks Found Dead in Apparent Murder-Suicide - from "Denver Guardian" - 567,000.
3. Trump Offering Free One-Way Tickets to Africa & Mexico for Those Who Wanna Leave America - from tmzhiphop.com - 802,000.
2. Pope Francis Shocks World, Endorses Donald Trump for President, Releases Statement - from "Ending the Fed" - 961,000.
1. Obama Signs Executive Order Banning The Pledge Of Allegiance In Schools Nationwide - from "ABCNews.com.co" - 2,177,000.
Top Five Fake Crime News Stories
5. Woman Stabbed Her Husband To Death Because He Wouldn't Eat Her ASS! - from "tmzhiphop.com" - 445,000.
4. Police Find 19 White Female Bodies In Freezers With "Black Lives Matter" Carved Into Skin - from "tmzhiphop.com" - 525,000.
3. Florida man dies in meth-lab explosion after lighting farts on fire - from "thevalleyreport.com" - 669,000.
2. Cinnamon Roll Can Explodes Inside Man's Butt During Shoplifting Incident - from "empireherald.com" - 765,000
1. Woman arrested for defecating on boss' desk after winning the lottery - from "thevalleyreport.com" - 1,765,000