Origins: On 15 August 2014, the Daily Currant published an article positing that the drought-stricken state of California was fining participants in the ALS Association's "Ice Bucket Challenge" for unnecessary water usage:
Local authorities in California are handing out massive fines to anyone participating in the "ALS Ice Bucket Challenge" fundraiser on the grounds they are wasting water.
In Los Angeles, which is living through its worst drought in generations, the Department of Water & Power and the Police Department have long been cracking down on unnecessary water usage.
By the end of the day links and excerpts referencing this article were being circulated via social media, with many of those who encountered such reports mistaking them for genuine news items. However, the original article was just a humorous spoof of current events from the Daily Currant, a site whose "About" page notes that they deal strictly in satire:
The Daily Currant is an English language online satirical newspaper that covers global politics, business, technology, entertainment, science, health and media.
Q. Are your news stories real?
A. No. Our stories are purely fictional. However they are meant to address real-world issues through satire and often refer and link to real events happening in the world.