Fact Check

Ad Claims To Know "Real Reason Behind Joel Osteen's Divorce"

Will a 22-page ad-infested slideshow get to the bottom of the issue?

Published March 7, 2021

An advertisement purports to provide readers with "the real reason behind Joel Osteen's divorce."

You could be forgiven if you thought clicking on a link for an article titled "the real reason behind Joel Osteen's divorce" might take you to a place that provided information about — or at least mentioned — the well known Houston-based televangelist. You would, sadly, be wrong:

Instead of providing background information about Osteen's supposed divorce, clicking the link takes the reader to a 23-page, ad-infested slideshow article on a website named "Defintion.org" titled "The Most Unbelievably Expensive Celebrity Divorces," which includes a picture of Osteen and his wife on the title card.

That photograph is the only time Osteen appears in the story, however -- likely because Osteen has not divorced and remains married to his wife, fellow televangelist Victoria Osteen, whom he wed in 1987.

Because this advertisement is a bait-and-switch that provides no information about Osteen or his fictional divorce, we rank the related claim "False."

Snopes debunks a wide range of content, and online advertisements are no exception. Misleading ads often lead to obscure websites that host lengthy slideshow articles with lots of pages. It's called advertising "arbitrage." The advertiser's goal is to make more money on ads displayed on the slideshow's pages than it cost to show the initial ad that lured them to it. Feel free to submit ads to us, and be sure to include a screenshot of the ad and the link to where the ad leads.

Alex Kasprak is an investigative journalist and science writer reporting on scientific misinformation, online fraud, and financial crime.

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