Looks like our peers over at Complex (and probably more than a few of your Facebook friends) fell for the old satirical news trick.

Despite reports to the contrary, Jay-Z and Beyoncé are not trying to buy the rights to the Confederate Flag.

The story stems from a fake news site called NewsWatch33 that reportedly scored an exclusive statement from the Carters’ lawyer about purchasing the rights to the flag to prevent it from being used on merchandise.

While the story seemed outlandish at best, considering buying the rights to the Confederate battle flag would be pretty much impossible, several reputable publications like Complex, Dazed, and The Source ran with the story.

The rise of fake news sites has exploded across social media recently. These days it’s common to find a Facebook user up in arms about a salacious story from a “satirical” site, but seeing actual and factual publications fall for this madness is troubling.

While these sites will no doubt call what they do “fun,” far too many people don’t actually read the things that scroll across their newsfeeds before sharing, and these stories almost sound real. This not only causes confusion, but it also helps spread bad information, false narratives, and terrible news.

Just so we’re clear, here’s a list of sites that publish fake news.

  • NewsWatch33
  • The News Nerd
  • World News Daily Report
  • Empire News
  • The Daily Currant
  • LoveThatNews
  • Free Wood Post
  • Stuppid
  • National Report
  • Borowitz Report
  • Cream BMP
  • Huzlers

If you see anything from the sites on this list don’t pass it on.

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