A rumor holding that Ohio's Cedar Point amusement park (billed as "The Roller Coaster Capital of the World") would not be reopening for the upcoming tourist season on 6 May 2017, as scheduled, has been widely circulated on Facebook. Allegedly, the park would remain shuttered for the year to complete safety upgrades stemming from a 2015 accident in which a man was struck and killed by the park's Raptor roller coaster:
Although this image resembles a genuine news item link, Facebook users who clicked on it were not redirected to a news article about Cedar Point. Rather, they were greeted with an image informing them that they had been "owned" in a Facebook prank:
Cedar Point did not announce they wouldn't be reopening in 2017 due to safety concerns, a point they attempted to clear up in a Facebook post:
Prank news sites enable users to generate hoaxes designed to trick their friends on social media. However, generalized hoaxes such as this one about Cedar Point's remaining shuttered tend to quickly move outside any one user’s group of friends and end up shared broadly on social media platforms.
"Pranks" similar to the one that caused concern about Cedar Park are rather popular on social media, such as one holding that Netflix would be shutting down due to too much account sharing. Prank sites have also recently helped spread death hoaxes about actors Andrew Lincoln and William H. Macy.