ENTERTAINMENT
10/18/2018 02:51 pm ET

Dear Elle Magazine, Media Companies: Don't Create Fake News To Get People To Vote

A new meme that involves sharing fake stories leading to voter registration sites is making the rounds.

A viral headline about Kim Kardashian and Kanye West breaking up is the latest example of a meme that involves sharing a clicky, fake story along with a link about voter registration.

On Thursday, Elle magazine tweeted a headline claiming the couple was splitting up. The “story” linked back to the website for organization When We All Vote, which encourages people to register to vote and provides a form to get people started.

Elle’s tweet comes days after a viral tweet from an individual Twitter user that read, “Wow I can’t believe this is why Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson split up.” The tweet included a photo of the former couple and a shortened URL that led to Vote.org’s voter registration page.

Look, voting is important and it’s important to let people know how much of an impact they can make by showing up to the polls. But this isn’t a good way to do it ― especially for actual media outlets.

Take a look at the political climate today. Donald Trump’s administration has essentially waged a war on the press. The president constantly condemns outlets like CNN, The New York Times and more as “fake news.”

Media watchdog and advocacy group Reporters Without Borders said earlier this year that Trump’s attacks on the free press have even created a “Trump effect” promoting antagonism against journalists in the U.S. and abroad. Trump even doled out “fake news awards.”

Proliferating actual fake news ― no, Kim and Kanye aren’t splitting up ― hurts the media’s credibility and is insulting to readers.

Elle’s tweet sent many people on Twitter into a tailspin, with numerous users imploring the magazine to do better.

Representatives from Elle did not immediately get back to HuffPost’s request for comment.

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