Pranksters troll TV station with fake news tips from The Simpsons

Simpsons fans are trolling TV stations worldwide with fake news tips and screenshots from the show.

Pranksters troll Australian news station with tips from The Simpsons

Simpsons fans are trolling TV stations worldwide with fake news tips and screenshots from the show. (Four Finger Discount/Facebook)

As anyone who watches The Simpsons can tell you, newsworthy events take place in Springfield, [REDACTED], almost every single day.

From corporate environmental scandals and organized crime wars to a sanitation department budget crisis that saw the entire town move five miles down the road, local reporters Kent Brockman and Dave Shutton have their work cut out for them.

But two men can only cover so many stories. Aside from a handful of visiting journalists, local radio DJs, and the short-lived Kidz Newz program, Springfield has relatively few outlets for news of the people.

Could Australia's 7 News be the answer to that problem?

Probably not, being that Springfield is a fictional place. Still, fans of the show can dream ... and relentlessly troll the Australian TV station with fake news tips based on The Simpsons, it seems.

(Thomas James/Four Finger Discount/Facebook)

(Mitchell Tronc/Four Finger Discount/Facebook)

(Four Finger Discount/Facebook)

Dozens of screenshots like these have been circulating the web since Thursday, when a Simpsons-themed podcast calledFour Finger Discount shared one fan's prank on 7 News with its more than 55,000 followers on Facebook.

Within hours, the podcast's page was flooded with the work of other fans who'd been inspired to send their own "tips" – complete with images from the show – to various local 7 News affiliates.

"What's amazing about this is that it happened completely spontaneously," the podcast's co-host, Mitch Grinter, told the Daily Dot of the meme. "We posted one or two that were shared rapidly, and before we knew it we were inundated with hundreds of messages from people getting in on it."

Brendan Dando, also a co-host, said he was skeptical when the first image came in and wondered if 7 News' falling for the prank "was a fluke." He asked a co-worker to submit another false report, and was pleasantly surprised to receive another genuine response from the station.

"After posting our screenshot and urging others to try it out, a dull day at work suddenly became a lot more entertaining," he said.

Indeed. Since news of this particular group prank started circulating, Simpsons fans from around the world have been testing the waters with news stations in their own hoods – to varying degrees of success.

Four Finger Discount has rounded up some of the best submissions so far on its website, but with 27 seasons (and counting) of Springfield news to choose from, fans may still have some gems up their sleeves.

As of Monday evening, no one appears to have yet reported a squirrel that looks like Abraham Lincoln.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.