Fact Check

Did J.K. Rowling Buy a Twitter User's Home as Revenge for His Criticism?

A fake article on a comedy web site managed to fool a number of readers into thinking the author had turned the tables on an online troll.

Published Aug. 28, 2017

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Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling exacted revenge on a Twitter critic by monitoring his finances for two years and then buying his home.

On 23 August 2017, comedy web site Funny or Die posted an article appearing to report that Harry Potter series author J.K. Rowling had taken vengeance on a Twitter critic by buying his home. "Two years ago," the article says, "Rowling tweeted this, in support of refugees coming to Europe."

The article includes the following, which is a real tweet posted by Rowling in September 2015:

The response included here is real:

The tweet picked up enough traction for Rowling to notice. So she tweeted this back at him, and most people assumed she was messing around.

She responded:

The article veers into satire at this point with an entirely fabricated tweet. J.K. Rowling never responded to @lukekocura, vowing that she would own his "shack" within two years. Nor did she then follow up two years later, bitterly inviting @lukekocura to visit his former home. The article also includes several details about "Luke Kocura", all of which are entirely fabricated for comedic effect.

Despite being published on a comedy web site, the Funny or Die article appears to have fooled plenty of Twitter users.  

Dan Mac Guill is a former writer for Snopes.

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