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No, testicles of men in birth control trial didn’t explode during sex

“Male birth control testing stopped after men’s testicles start exploding in India,” claims an article on a news aggregation site that’s been shared thousands of times on Facebook.

The article comes from the site Face of Malawi. “Male birth control testing has been halted in India after 30 test subjects testicles exploded during sexual intercourse,” it claims.

But the Face of Malawi story was, in turn, copied from the South African joke website Ihlaya News.

“Ihlaya News” roughly translates, from isiZulu, as “crazy person news”. The site’s tagline is “nuusparodie waarvan jy hou”, Afrikaans for “news parody that you like”. It claims to be a satirical website.


 

Satire used as news becomes disinformation


Face of Malawi republished the story as real news, with no disclaimer that it was intended as satire, or a joke. When satire is reused as news, it becomes disinformation.

Africa Check has debunked other stories first published as satire on Ihlaya News, but shared more widely on social media as though they were real. 

And a Google search produces no credible news reports of the testicles of men taking part in a birth control trial exploding during sex. – Mary Alexander

 


 

For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false

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Click on our guide for the steps you should follow.

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Africa Check teams up with Facebook

Africa Check is a partner in Facebook’s third-party fact-checking programme to help stop the spread of false information on social media.

The content we rate as “false” will be downgraded on Facebook and Instagram. This means fewer people will see it.

You can also help identify false information on Facebook. This guide explains how.

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