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U.S. Capitol Police investigating The Onion‘s Twitter joke

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Onion headline

Confusion flooded the internet when the usually hilarious Onion Twitter account reported, "BREAKING: Witness reporting screams and gunfire heard inside Capitol building." Was the faux-news site hacked or was this the set up to an elaborate joke? Well, they followed it up with an even less funny punchline, tweeting "BREAKING: Capitol building being evacuated. 12 children held hostage by group of armed congressmen," which all linked back to an article entitled "Congress takes group of schoolchidren hostage." Hysterical, I know. In addition to sparking the ire of readers, the story fueled an investigation by the U.S. Capitol Police. According to a press release by the USCP,

It has come to our attention that recent Twitter feeds are reporting false information concerning current conditions at the U.S. Capitol.  Conditions at the U.S. Capitol are currently normal. There is no credibility to these stories or the Twitter feeds. The U.S. Capitol Police are currently investigating the reporting.

So to sum things up, an unfunny joke from a fake news source sparked a real-life investigation by one of the nation's highest security offices. The Onion should have a field day with this one… wait, never mind.