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Filed under: Editorial, Rumor Reporting

Why Sites Shouldn’t Report Every Rumor

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The following is an opinion post. You are allowed to disagree.

When I originally wrote this post, a user posted two images they reportedly found on the Japanese Mario Maker website. These images are two versions of Daisy, one in her sports outfit and one in her princess garb. Shortly after, the news was reported on various websites and the rumor has been spread around. It’s now confirmed fake, but I would like to argue why sites shouldn’t report on these kinds of rumors in the first place.

The issue from the start? There was no source, and the “rumor” belonged in the trash. I even questioned the rumor’s status on Twitter before it was confirmed to be fake.

The user on Twitter was obviously biased towards Daisy with both their account name, display name and icon all referencing the beloved princess of Sarasaland. Looking over their account, they had no history of hacking, and their link as proof was extremely dubious. The site has 8 different character icons on it, and the user is claiming that there are 2 additional icons for just Daisy. Obviously, this had no basis in reality. Yet, blogs were reporting on it, people made videos on it, and here I am discussing the issue.

This needs to stop. Now.

I’m sure a lot of you will say, “it’s okay! They are posting it under the ‘rumor’ tag, so no harm done!”. Let me explain why sites and other content creators need to stop reporting on obviously fake rumors.


Created by Outfoxie

Fake rumors hurt the community and fans

When this rumor does not come to light it will hurt the fans of Daisy. They have been mislead but not only the person who created this rumor, but other content creators who are propagating the misinformation.

People also tend to believe these fake rumors. Down the line, it will be even more difficult to tell people that no, Daisy never had a costume in Super Mario Maker. No, it wasn’t cut. Some person on the Internet lied to you. I know this first hand, as I constantly have to tell people that when I explain that no, Pit wasn’t planned for Smash 64. No, he wasn’t cut. Some guy on the Internet lied to you. When false information like this becomes known it’s a lot harder to unlearn it.

Fake rumors are fluff content

99.99% of the rumors are just wishlists written in a way to get people to read them– something that this Daisy user actually admitted to. If you wish to publish wishlists on your site, then just accept fan submissions. Do not go under the guise that you are “reporting” on a “rumor”, when basic fact-checking or inquiry has been thrown out the window. Stop wasting your reader’s time and eyeballs and be more productive with the power to reach millions of people.

Reporting on fake rumors creates more fake rumors

The exposure of fake rumors incentives other liars to create fake rumors as they know people will read it. In this sense, people who create fake rumors are content creators. Being a content creator myself, I know there is nothing better than people actually consuming your content. However, encouraging this kind of behavior needs to stop as it damages the community, information and is frankly a waste of everyone’s time.

Fake rumors make it difficult to decipher true information

Fake rumors adds a lot of unnecessary “noise”, and makes it difficult to notice true rumors/ leaks because of all the fake ones. Arguably, no one would have believed Cloud even if he was leaked, and multiple people did (one person on GameFaqs, another on NeoGaf), but everyone just chalked it up as fake information partly because there was so much of it already.


Created by Outfoxie

Aftermath and obligations

If a site, or YouTuber reports on fake rumors, at the very least they have an obligation to update the original post to inform new readers that it’s misinformation. The best thing to do would be to have a dialogue, and make a new post/ include the corrected information as part of a different post. When newspapers get something wrong they often have a little blurb in future issues informing their readers of their mistake. I think we as content creators need to do the same thing.


I know this is a losing battle, and I doubt I will make much difference. There’s too much of a rush to be “the first” with content creators; but I strongly believe consumers need to take a more active role in the content they consume or else they will be constantly lied to. The need for proper sourcing is something that I think needs to be done if we want to continue to elevate video games as ‘not just a hobby’ but as a productive part of everyday life.  

If you want more information on how to “bust” leaks, read this post.

Do you agree or disagree? Let us know in the comments!



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  1. Some rumors I am surprised even get the limelight now, like the one above. I saw it on twitter as well and didn’t think twice about it because it really had no merit and is insanely easy to fake. I feel like the ESRB leak and data mining debacle has created this culture on the Nintendo-side of gaming where leaks are accepted as confirmed until it is officially deconfirmed by Nintendo or other Data Miners (Not by other fans because they bring up the whole Shulk & Little Mac argument.)

    Whats worse is even Data Miners that are well respected in the community (Like NWplayer) will have their predictions twisted into “confirmations” or “leaks” by overzealous fans.
    We also have content creators with a lot of young followers talking about their inside sources and how they know things but they can’t say any of it because it will incriminate the source- but the problem is they can’t keep their lips sealed. I understand protecting sources, but it gets tiring hearing the same rumor and the same excuse from the same person almost like child like teasing in a “I know things you don’t Nahh-Nahh-Nahh-Nahh” and seems like needless attention seeking.

    People seem to really want to get the NWPlayer/Artsy Omni surge in popularity which is also why I am reluctant to support either of them on a basis of my personal feelings on how they act and the message it sends to other hoax creators and hackers. They seem like nice people and some of their work is really amazing, but I still feel a bit put off at times by their antics.

    DonkaFjord on November 22 |
    • I think you hit the nail on the head with your comment. I really feel that the opposite approach should be taken…something that we actually discussed in SourceCast #3 — Endless Speculation. Rumors should thought of as false until proven, not the other way around.

      I disliked the public teasing. It’s not appropriate, and should not be rewarded.

      Part of the reason why I decided to publish this editorial is because I feel that people need to take the way they consume information more seriously.

      PushDustIn on November 22 |
      • Well he claimed that’s what the ESRB *made* people into thinking, not how he thinks.

        For what the rumors has caused for me, I’m literally hopeless of any Smash news ever, even back when the direct was announced, I wasn’t even getting hopes up for Smash news. When the final announcement came and I saw no Smash intro, I really thought the announcement was not for Smash and was instantly disappointed. (until the Smash logo appeared of course)

        But I actually want to know, there are those GameFaqs and Neogaf user who know this comingl, do they actually know the DLC or they just came out to throw a random prediction and somehow got it right?

        Logo on November 23 |
  2. This will be my first comment since I found this site, and all I have to say that I agree. When the Rayman fake leak that Artsi Omni happened, my trust on leaks decreased way too much, specially when the files of Roy & Ryu were found, I always thought they were fake until they were actually revealed (I even managed to avoid find out of this when they were leaked, it was very hard). But when they reveal fake information as something legit, gets me very angry

    Alejandro Lopez on November 22 |
    • Thanks for finally commenting!

      Yeah, it really does hurt the community when this information is revealed to be faked.

      PushDustIn on November 22 |
  3. As someone who tries to keep his facts straight…I really feel you. So much of the media is so obsessed with being the first to get to news that they’re willing to jump on the tiniest rumors, and it makes it really freaking hard to get the truth out. Making matters worse are the certain figures–I won’t name names, but you’ve probably seen them–who deliberately blow things out of proportion and make over the top videos about them to try and get as much attention as possible.

    We as a community may be more than just our loudest voices…but dammit, it’s infuriating to get drowned out by them so often.

    Delzethin on November 23 |
  4. I agree with you, if it’s a news site it should only report on news that they know are 100% real or else they could hurt even their own image as a news site.
    Despite that.. I confess that I really like reading about any kind of “rumor” even if I know they’re fake, I wish there was a site that also posted all “rumors” they could find, even if it was a parody blog.
    And for this Daisy costume case, I think it was maybe positive for the original posters or/and Daisy fans, because it brought a lot attention to how Daisy fans want that costume and maybe even Nintendo themselves could have seen that.

    Ar on November 23 |
  5. This article is agreeable. Honestly, I will become harsh and offensive when it comes with rumors and leaks that’s never meant to be true, but I definitely will apologize if I was wrong and for being rude. Bringing up rumors that’s made up on the informant’s fictional ideas is taking risks that people will find out that information is 100% fake. There will be data miners who’ll dig up the game’s data for hidden installments, or even hackers who’ll search the entire official site’s data to search for any hidden files, which is illegal actually. And once that’s proven to be fake, the informant will face the ultimate consequences which they will regret forever. Seriously, these guys aren’t taking any risks. They don’t make second thoughts of whether they’re doing right or wrong. No matter what kind of fake information they’ll bring, all they want is full attention from every viewers to fall in their trap, making them having popularity and fame, which will be taken down in quick seconds. Once they’ve found out, they’ll lose trust from the community, and it is ultimately impossible to recover it either.

    I’ve been fallen to those fake rumors so many times throughout the times when Smash 4 was still in production. I’ve always thought those ESRB leaks and Roy/Ryu leaks were fakes, as many of those leaks were meant to be, but as it proven true, I was shocked that I was wrong. However, after the Ray Man leak and the Dr. Mario stage leak was proven fake, my mind got terribly messed up that I could almost no longer trust anything anymore, and that made me seriously angry as I wanted to send the angry e-mail to those guys who’ve made those fake leaks (obviously, I didn’t). Even with Artsi Omni who made the fake Klonoa and Ray Man leak, that was something that he shouldn’t have done in the very first place. And that face and shrugged posture he showed in the moment when Ray Man leak proven to be fake, I don’t think he’s proud of himself, but did bought hate from every viewers out there. Many may have laughed for his prankster actions, but for those who were Ray Man and Smash fans, pretty sure got pissed off for good as they believed he never regretted his actions that he decided to take. It doesn’t matter how good their artistic skills are; they should’ve been strongly aware of doing something that they shouldn’t be doing from the very first place. And seriously, just because of this, I decided not to trust any rumors or leaks at all until the officials reveal something for us. And honestly, I still wouldn’t think I will ever forgive Artsi for what he done, as I no longer believe in him anymore.

    Although the rumors are good to discuss about it whether it’s real or not, as long there’s no perfect source and evidence, we shouldn’t take it seriously as they think rumors = facts. This is something people have been mistaking rumors for a very long time. Rumors are meant to suspect, not to believe in. Even making up rumors that’s not even true aren’t rewarded for full attention and popularity, but strong hate and mistrust. And once that happens, it’ll never be recovered.

    zoniken on November 23 |
  6. Sheer bloganism at play

    m0r1arty on November 23 |
    • Huh, didn’t know that was a term. Interesting!

      PushDustIn on November 23 |
      • That’s because the term doesn’t exist. the only other sources that I looked up for this word was fabricated by the very same man who just used the word. Bloganism doesn’t even exist in any reliable language or dictionary and shouldn’t be treated as one.

        Bob on November 23 |
  7. What I’m about to say will likely come across as very hypocritical or possibly somewhat defensive, and I suspect people will respond as such. I can’t really argue that people shouldn’t, so feel free. I just feel like I should weigh in, since I’ve contributed to this issue.

    I definitely agree with the sentiment being expressed here. Again, this may seem hypocritical, since I was propelled into the spotlight for a couple weeks back in February by partaking in the practice of creating a hoax. Although I did it purely in an effort to promote Smashified (which in itself isn’t a great motive), rather than as an effort merely to “troll the community,” I should have had the foresight to recognize the negative consequences of my actions, one of which was the popularization of creating hoaxes and “fake leaks” (a term which I’ve grown quite tired of). It’s for that reason that I’ve chosen to never again present any of my work as any sort of rumor of actual game content, despite people constantly encouraging me to try to upstage the Rayman “leak.”

    I’ve said it in the past, and I’ll continue to express it at the risk of being called a hypocrite: creating a fake leak is not worth it. It may get you some attention in the short term, but in the long term, it will only ever be a stain on your record. No matter what I do from this point forward, I’ll always be remembered as “the rayman leak guy,” and my integrity will always be called into question. Maybe for some people that’s desirable, but for me, I want my work to stand on its merits, and not be held up by some sort of gimmick. Even in this very article, there are people in the comments apprehensive to support my work because of my participation in this practice, and that’s something I’ll just have to deal with for the foreseeable future.

    Although the Rayman leak has afforded me an audience for which I can create art, I still look back full of regret. I cannot condone the practice of creating fake leaks, and I definitely don’t think the media should be so quick to report on them, especially when careful analysis is usually enough to prove that something is fake, as was the case with mine.

    I’ve been told by Rayman supporters that things worked out okay, and that the Rayman leak helped raise awareness for Rayman Smash Ballot support and possibly helped him get better numbers in polls, but that can’t really be substantiated, and it’s definitely not a good enough motive to create a fake leak.

    I will say, however, that one thing people can do as consumers of the media is to constantly take everything with a grain of salt. Now more than ever, skepticism is necessary in this age where information spreads like electricity through gold. Every proposed “leak” should be considered fake until there is substantial evidence to suggest that it might be real, and even then, it should be handled very clearly as a rumor, and never as a confirmation until confirmed by the developers.

    As much as I want to be of use in this movement to take the spotlight off of rumors like these, I fear that given my history, I’d be an ineffective messenger. There’s just too many distractions surrounding my stance within this community, and I would only end up creating unnecessary controversy. I can say “don’t create fake leaks and don’t report on them,” ’til the cows come home, but coming from me, the message carries no weight, and would likely come across as “I benefitted, and I don’t want anyone else to benefit.” However, I wish you and any other proponents of this stance the best of luck.

    Omni Jacala (@artsyomni) on November 23 |
    • Not exactly… You did the deed and nothing changed. People have been making fake leaks/rumors from the beginning (even during the Melee era with the Sonic and Tails rumor), you on the other hand just made a more believable fake leak with the help of your artistic talents. If you read my statement about this article below (if it passes moderation), it states that any article that is made in response to the fake leaks/rumors, no matter if it’s good or bad, is nothing more than troll food… and they ate it. You shouldn’t hit yourself with guilt over the belief that you have revolutionized the way people can fake leaks even though people have done it before the 3rd Smash installment.

      To me, you’re the guy that could easily get a job in the art division in the video game industry. You have not only shown that anybody can fake a leak, but have shown the prowess to do so with the help of your artistry and have thus made a name for yourself in the Smash Bros. community up to the point to where people are asking you to make more. To me, your hoax deserves an A+ for making something that was nearly believable and benefiting from it in the end.

      Bob on November 23 |
  8. This is exactly what the fake rumor creators want you to do. Those fake rumor creators are actually internet trolls trying to upset/fool people like you into doing stupid acts such as spreading false information until everybody figures out that it was fake (social media and journalist websites) or writing an anti-rumor article (like what you just did), and by doing the latter you have actually fed the trolls. Either way, they still win even if you didn’t do anything for there’s always someone who’s going to believe them. You might be telling me right now that this article wasn’t a stupid act or a way of helping people understand why every rumor shouldn’t be reported or that I’m just a troll when in reality the trolls have successfully got you into making an article that they believe is an upset response to those fake rumors and that the article only benefits them.

    In other words: Trolls + fake rumors + internet reactions (good or bad) = Epic Win for the trolls. They always thrive off of the internet’s reaction no matter what you do. I do not expect a response from this post.

    Bob on November 23 |
  9. I agree with this article… I’m not even sure why websites report on rumors that aren’t credible anyway. Unless there’s a source that’s credible, whether it be a known leaker, someone who has access to industry information, or a credible dataminer, it’s not really worth reporting on. The mentality of “true until its proven false” is also dangerous thinking, as it will just lead to disappointment for all involved.

    Thanks to my experience in researching said rumors and leaks, I’m a lot more careful about what I believe now. The Roy / Ryu leak I was totally behind (at least 90%), but the Shovel Knight / Runbow leak I knew right away was fake (especially since the Mii Fighter costumes listed were far too predictable.)

    If content creators want attention, do something like Smashified and create content, but don’t pass it off as something real… all these random hoaxes are starting to get really old, honestly.

    Winturwulf (@winturwulf) on November 23 |
  10. VERY true. Problem is, so many sites and content creators probably don’t care, and just want more viewers that will eat up information they don’t understand is true. Even I thought this was an actual truth. But as long as these channels that want more views, they’ll keep posting poorly researched and sourced information. Cause another sad truth is that without these, most of those channels wouldn’t have much to upload… at least it makes the inbox shorter :/

    aguchamp33 on November 26 |