The Dangers of Memeing: Yelp Isn't Suing 'South Park'

A satirical news website falsely claimed Yelp was suing the creators of South Park over defamatory remarks made on a recent episode.

Nicholas Deleon

Nicholas Deleon

Image: The TVDB.com

Here's yet another example of why you shouldn't believe everything you read on the internet.

An article hosted on satirical news website "NBC News" (which is actually located at the URL NBC.com.co) claims that Yelp is "seeking damages" from the creators of the popular Comedy Central cartoon over comments in a recent episode that "lampooned the customer review and local business rating website."

No such lawsuit has been filed, Yelp tells Motherboard.

"The rumor about a Yelp lawsuit is entirely untrue and was started by a satire site that has received far too much media credibility," a Yelp spokesperson said. "We have no interest in legal action against the fantastic team that makes the South Park magic happen."

Paul Horner, who runs "NBC News," told Motherboard in an email that he published the story because he likes "making people laugh."

"There's people that can't figure out that [the website is] satire?" Horner said. "The bottom of every page has a ridiculous paragraph of text... The phone number is to the Westboro Baptist Church. I list myself as the owner of NBC News and I talk about assisting people that have problems playing on the Devil's playground and an anti-masturbation dolphin named Fappy that is here to help."

As of 11:55am ET, a direct link to the phony news article was still available via Google News, albeit ranked below an article from Eater also explaining that the lawsuit was not real. A San Francisco Business Times article linking to the phony article is also listed in search results, though that article has since been taken down. The story also floated around social media, including Reddit and Twitter, with varying degrees of credulity.