How to spot a fake article on Awesome DC (or elsewhere)

Pull up any article, probably under the byline of site owner Elias Shams (the other named contributors on the site are generally legit).

This one is nice and short (and interestingly, NOT on Elias’s byline):

AwesomeDC article on Rally for Sanity

Pick some phrase likely to be unique— by which I mean unlikely that two writers would type the exact same sentence.  I picked:

The toilers are being shipped in from Waldorf, Md.-based United Site Services, which will provide 450 stand-alone lavatories, 50 disabled-friendly units and one trailer with eight stalls.

Get it? Even with access to the same sources and information, it’s doubtful that two reporters would phrase it exactly that way.

Paste it into Google (in quotes). You might want to try this a few times with a given article— as you’ll see, sometimes they intersperse their own copy in otherwise “borrowed” articles.

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I don’t know what’s up with that middle result, but an article has appeared in Yahoo Moviers and The Hollywood Reporter with that phrase. The Yahoo Movies article is syndicated from THR.

The entire text of the THR article is in the Awesome DC post. Awesome’s only addition was the sentence “They should both thank to Arianna Huffington for at least 10,000 of them.”

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Did you find one? AWESOME. Share it in the comments, here or at We Love DC!

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