JOE talks to the man responsible for conning the Twitter masses with his fake football quotes
No matter how ridiculous something is, if it finds its way on to the internet, there's a good chance that some people will believe it.
A timely reminder of that came in the light of Louis van Gaal's dismissal from Manchester United, when a (quite blatantly fake) quote from the Dutchman's wife started doing the rounds on Twitter...
The wife of Louis Van Gaal has revealed some shocking details to her husbands treatment, in Dutch paper De Telegraaf pic.twitter.com/0FPPjjIY3J
— GeorgeWeahsCousin (@WeahsCousin) May 23, 2016
Mrs. Van Gaal quite clearly *didn't* say these things, but by doctoring a photo to make it look as if they were taken directly from Sky Sports News, plenty of folk were taken in by it.
This isn't the first time that Twitter account @WeahsCousin (not Ali Dia) has reeled people in with a bogus quote; his followers will testify that he's been doing it for a good while now. For example, you might recall the 'deleted tweet' attributed to Raheem Sterling...
Oh dear Raheem pic.twitter.com/nAPoowpe27
— GeorgeWeahsCousin (@WeahsCousin) November 21, 2015
Or former Sunderland player Jack Colback's words on his move to Newcastle United...
— GeorgeWeahsCousin (@WeahsCousin) May 11, 2016
Yep. They were all fake and were all down to the same guy.
"The first one that really took off was pretty much the first I did," the man responsible told JOE.
"It was about Steve Evans when he joined Leeds. There were blokes ringing up TalkSPORT and quoting it, saying they remember him saying it."
"There is an element of showing people up with it," he adds. "I've dabbled with fake transfer rumours in the past so I know how gullible the internet public can be. I wanted to see how far I could take it."
Well aware of the credulous nature of those on Twitter, he also explains that it's not just the odd individual that's taken in by his work.
When Gary Neville's Valencia side were hammered 7-0 by Barcelona in February, he sent the following tweet:
Within hours the quote was doing the rounds on Twitter and being reported in the media.
"This was probably my favourite one, just because of how far it went and how quickly it took off," he explains. "I was amazed by how many news outlets reported it without any attempt to verify it."
As you might expect, a few high profile names have fallen victim, too.
"The Colback one was tweeted by James Corden," he adds. "In turn, this caused Gabby Logan to publicly out him as a bellend."
"Guillem Balague and Mark Noble have both tweeted to deny stuff they'd 'said', too."
If @WeahsCousins work teaches us anything, it's to never assume that what we read on the internet is gospel.
For more examples, click through into the thread below.
Make sure you're never caught out again. You've been warned.
Gonna go through the top 10 of
'Stuff I made up that idiots believed'
— GeorgeWeahsCousin (@WeahsCousin) April 16, 2016