ON July 20-22, 2018, Georgian onlin agencies pia.ge , break.ge , dainteresdit.ge and siaxle.ru published articles titled “Florida Man, 57, who Put Crocodiles to Sleep and the Raped them, was Arrested”. Intermedia published an article with the same plot, titled “A Zoophile, who Put Crocodiles to Sleep with Tranquilizers and Raped them, was arrested in Florida, US”. The publication mentions that a 57-years-old Florida man, Shawn Kilums, put the crocodiles to sleep with tranquilizers and had a sexual intercourse with them afterwards. The materials come with a photo of a man, who, according to the aforementioned media outlets, is Shawn Kilums.
The material, portrayed as an actual news story by the Georgian online media, is actually a fake story, made up by a junk news edition, Huzlers. It has nothing in common with reality.
1 A junk news website is the primary source of the information
A junk news edition, Huzlers, is the primary source of the material, disseminated in the Georgian media. The edition does not indicate the date of publication. However, the article was archived on wayback machine on July 17, 2018.
The “About us” section of Huzlers indicates that Huzlers is a fauxtire and satire entertainment website.
2. The photo shows Robert Prosser from Ohio, not Shawn Kilums
According to the famous American fact-checking website, Snopes.com, the man on the photo is not Shawn Kilums, but rather a 49-year-old Robert Prosser, who was arrested in Ohio, in July 2010 for illegally growing marijuana at his home next to a school.
One of propaganda methods, well-tested in the Georgian media, is the presentation of satirical-humorous news as real facts. Previously, Georgian tabloid Geworld.ge published an article which asserted that a night shift security guard of Smithsonian museum in Washington was arrested for raping 2,500 year-old mummy. The aim of the method is to implant an idea that necrophilia and zoophilia is a way of Western life.
Prepared by Tako Mezhvrishvili
Myth Detector Lab