On 23 February 2017, Empire News published an article appearing to report that a new virtual protest “challenge” was sweeping social media in protest of President Donald Trump:
The “Finger-Chop Challenge” has begun to spread across social media, with teens and college students reportedly cutting off their fingers in an effort to raise awareness about the “evils of Donald Trump” as President.
“Trump is a disgusting, sick, orange bigot,” said Maria Lambert, 19, a college sophomore at Dartmouth. “I chopped off all of my fingers on a livestream on Facebook. I left just the middle finger on one hand, because fuck Trump, that’s why.”
“My son has done the challenge 4 times, and each time, he’s cut off a new finger. He’s down to just the pinky on his left hand,” said Carl Lunger of his son, Mario Lunger, 17. “Frankly, though, I’m proud of him. He’s taking a stand against Trump, and he’s also raised a lot of awareness about Trump. Last I knew, he had over 300 views on his YouTube video.”
Health officials are warning parents, though, of the dangers of their children cutting off their own fingers for internet notoriety.
However, Empire News is a fake news site with the following disclaimer:
Empire News is intended for entertainment purposes only. Our website and social media content uses only fictional names, except in cases of public figure and celebrity parody or satirization. Any other use of real names is accidental and coincidental.
Before the “finger chop challenge” story, Empire News also claimed there was a new “Public Assistance Barbie,” that Monica Lewinsky was voting for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election, and that the body of a homeless man was positively identified as Elvis Presley.