News outlets including CNBC and Reuters were duped on Monday by a fake press release announcing that Walmart was going to begin accepting a cryptocurrency for payment.
The brouhaha began with a sponsored Globe Newswire press release early in the day claiming that Walmart would begin accepting the digital currency known as Litecoin for transactions. The release was promoted by Litecoin News, a social-media handle verified on Twitter, and quickly spread to CNBC, where David Faber and Jim Cramer expressed confusion over the news.
“How do you pay at Walmart with Litecoin?” Faber asked, prompting Cramer to reply, “Look, I got to tell you — I just say, OK, can we just say that this is becoming farcical? I mean, does anyone go to Walmart and pay with Litecoin?
“Obviously, you’ve got to do it online,” Faber mused, furrowing his brow at the press release. “You’re not doing it in the store.”
Indeed they are not doing it in store, of course, because the the press release was a fake. Reuters and Yahoo News were among the outlets publishing the fake news as fact.
But many Twitter users immediately recognized the story as bogus and called out the media outlets.
After Reuters published their story headlined “Walmart to accept Litecoin payments,” they subsequently corrected it, and included a statement from Walmart.
“Walmart had no knowledge of the press release issued by GlobeNewswire and there is no truth to it. Walmart has no relationship with litecoin,” Reuters quoted a company spokesperson as saying in their correction.
This is the second day in a row where the Media Loser was the result of being duped. Let’s hope it’s not a trend.