Fake News: 4-Year-Old Boy Hacks FBI Database

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A fake news article from August of 2014 is recirculating with claims that a 4-year-old boy has been arrested for hacking the FBI database.

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Fake News

This absurd piece of fiction was actually first published by World News Daily Report on August 11, 2014. The phony article tells the story of a 4-year-old boy from Los Angelos, California who is arrested for hacking into the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) database multiple times. It is claimed that the boy was being raised by his mother, and had access to a laptop that was a Christmas gift to the mother from an ex-boyfriend.

Once more, this article is bogus. The FBI does not arrest and interrogate children.

Lifted Photos

World News Daily Report consistently takes photos found on the internet and applies them to their fictional stories. The second picture attached to the article, which shows a small boy with blacked-out eyes using a computer, is actually a stock photo from iStock that has been slightly altered. The original image can be viewed here.

World News Daily Report

Every satire website contains a disclaimer somewhere on the site. For World News Daily Report, this disclaimer link is visible at the top of every page on their website. Visiting this page divulges that they are a satirical publication which specializes in fake news stories.

In the last two years, satire sites which create fake news articles have become popular and profitable. Many of these sites generate a periodic torrent of false news stories that can appear to be real. Once these fake articles are posted to social media accounts, a process of sharing the headlines begins as masses of naive social media users spread the stories. During the process of transmission, the satirical nature of these accounts is forgotten, and the boundary between truth and fiction is fogged.

With the potential to fool millions, the outcome is a potentially viral story. Simultaneously, the satire site brings in masses of traffic and revenue from advertisements.


A 4-year-old boy has not been arrested for hacking into the FBI database. This is a false story generated by satire site World News Daily Report.

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