Don’t worry, Fappy the Anti-Masturbation Dolphin is NOT going to jail as was reported by some media outlets. The reason? There is no such thing as Fappy the Anti-Masturbation Dolphin — not really, at least.
In November 2015, NewsExaminer reported:
In an ironic twist of a fate, a mascot for a Christian anti-masturbation group was arrested today for masturbating in public. The mascot, along with his organization, Stop Masturbation Now, recently finished a federally funded 31-city nationwide school tour which they claim focused on educating children about the dangers and consequences of masturbation.
Fappy The Anti-Masturbation Dolphin, whose real name is 37-year-old Paul Horner, was arrested at Sea World after employees notified police about a man swimming in the dolphin tank with nothing on except a dolphin mascot head.
This story was reprinted on an alleged CBS website that uses a CBS News banner, but the URL for this site is http://cbsnews.com.co/ — not an official CBS URL. Snopes.com reports that both NewsExaminer and CBSnews.com.co are related fake news websites that have often written about this “non-existent mascot representing a non-existent group.” Nevertheless, the story was quickly shared across social media, without anyone looking too deeply into the matter. Here are some quick things to consider before sharing such a story with your friends:
- Look at the website. Does it have legitimate looking ads? Does it look like a real news site? For both NewsExaminer and CBSnews.com.co the answer is “No.”
- Working links in a story don’t always mean the story is real.
- The Stop Masturbation Now website doesn’t make sense; the content is an obvious joke.
- The 31-city tour link goes to an imgur graphic, not an actual website. Legit news outlets would link to a website.
- The Fappy Facebook page is real, but the posts are extreme and silly, with the terms “Praise Fappy” throughout; any conservative religious organization would not praise a mascot, only Jesus or God.
- Think about it: There’s no way a Democratic president would fund an anti-masturbation campaign to schools.
- There is a quote from a local San Diego news station called KNSD, but the link goes to NBC San Diego — a different station.
- Always read the “About Us” section or footer of these websites; they often tell you they’re fake news sites or give big clues, like this one on the CBS site:
Do you have a complaint? We love to hear them! You can call our complaint department directly at (785) 273-0325 | Do you have a problem with self-rape? Are you looking to get off the Devil’s playground? Fappy The Anti-Masturbation Dolphin can help! Praise Fappy!
Bottom line? Like with all these false news stories, think first and do one minute worth of research before sharing.