“Dangerous eyeball licking trend on the rise in Japan,” screamed a July 7 Times of India headline. While it sure sounds kind of dangerous, the Huff Post, Gawker, and Medical News Today, say there is a lot less to the widespread claim of a Japanese eyeball licking trend than meets the eye. All three carried similar reports but have since changed their stories in light of an article by Tokyo-based journalist, Mark Schreiber, as well as the opinion expressed on the urban legend debunking site, Snopes.com. Perhaps the Times of India will take a second look at the story and be part of the new trend of news organizations that are now setting the record straight.
(Portions of this post have appeared in related MediaBugs reports filed by JT Cassidy)
If you want a real eye-opener, take a look at "Lick This!" by Mark Schreiber and read how the tale of a fake fad made in Japan made its way into online publications like MNT as well as the pages of newspapers, magazines, and more all around the world.
Also see: "In the Public Eye" on Snopes.com
Related MediaBugs reports:
If You Can't Lick 'Em Join 'Em (Fox News); Not a Lick of Truth (The Telegraph); Eye Network Lacks Nose for Fishy Stories (CBS News); Calling Out the Daily Caller (The Daily Caller); Code Brown (Medical News Today); Gawk at This! (Gawker); Not a Thing (The San Francisco Chronicle); Less Than Meets the Eye (The Guardian); A Blind Eye to the Truth (Huffington Post); Falling for a Fake Story... (The Washington Times)