The Man Behind the Pokemon Crime Wave

America is going crazy for the new game–crazy enough to kill, if you believe all the narratives on Facebook. But the massacre is fake, and The Daily Beast tracked down “the mens” behind it.”>

At CartelPress.com, the death toll from the first weekend of Pokemon Go is still piling up.

If youre to believe that website, the new augmented reality game that has users walking into public parks and streets to catch Pokemonand is nearing as many daily active users as Twitteris responsible for a massacre. A teen killed his brother over a low-rent Pokemon called a Pidgey, the site reports. Countless were left dead on a Massachusetts highway when a 26 -year-old stopped in the middle of the road to catch a Pikachu, the committee is also alleges. And now, on CartelPress.com, the so-called Islamic State widely known as ISIS is claiming credit for the biggest Pokemon tragedy of all: rampant server issues.

Unbelievable.

No, actually. It should be unbelievable. But 10,000 people shared that first tale on Facebook. More than 64,000 shared the last one. And the Pokemon highway accident? Some 384,000 shares on Facebook in a couple of days.

And none of them are real.

CartelPress is just one the members of the Pokesteria.

Now gamers on other sites are fooling people into donating to a Texas-based Uber driver who claims he witnessed a assassination scene while trawling for Pokemon over the weekendeven though that assassination scene, just like the rest of these narratives, never existed.

That didnt stop plenty of reputable news agencies from recycling the Satanic Panic-esque narratives that were always too good to be true. The Atlantic referenced the freeway demise in the middle of its tale The Tragedy of Pokemon Go. The New York Post did the same.

There are plenty more. Pablo Reyes almost caught em all. According to the 26 -year-old internet pranksterwho flooded Americas elevators and drive period radio reveals with fake Pokecrime he fabricated on CartelPress, a new site he createdits all one big coding mistake.

***

What happened is that I was testing a new platform for CartelPress.com. I was testing out how the site was gonna run. I wrote the narratives to see if the platform was going to work correctly, if the programs that Im use would automatically would push them to the front page, Reyes told The Daily Beast.

It worked correctly, all right.

The narratives on there ran viral by accident.

Reyes is not new to this. He runs a sister site called Huzlers.com, which has almost a half-million likes on Facebook. He wrote these new Pokemon narratives on CartelPress guessing some of them would do well and pushed them out through the Huzlers Facebook page.

At the start, most of the fans of Huzlers knew the narratives were fake, he told. They took the tales for what they were: scarcely believable satire. But then all hell broke loose. The narratives were being shared by Huzlers fans on Facebook, who reached non-Huzlers fans on Facebook, who reached Americas grandmothers on Facebook. Then the narratives induced their route to Reddit. Then to Twitter, without attribution.

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