October 2017 saw the publication of explosive articles by the New York Times and the New Yorker, reporting that American film producer Harvey Weinstein had allegedly sexually harassed or assaulted several dozen women over the course of the previous three decades.
In the wake of the resulting controversy, the Neon Nettle web site published an article under a headline proclaiming that Weinstein had cut a deal to "Give [the] Names of Hollywood and Washington DC Pedophiles to [the] FBI."
Readers pondering the credibility of this shocking report might note the following:
The sole source for this story was Neon Nettle, a site known for publishing completely fabricated "news" articles. No reputable news organization reported anything similar.
Neon Nettle's headline claim was supported with only a single anonymous statement:
Following Harvey Weinstein's epic fall from the highest reaches of the societal and political hierarchy, the disgraced former movie mogul has decided to cut a deal with the FBI and has offered up the names of elite pedophiles in Hollywood and Washington D.C.
According to sources within the FBI, Weinstein has offered up the names of some of the most powerful and influential people in the United States in connection with pedophilia, child pornography, and human trafficking.
Neon Nettle has a curious fascination with (that is to say, a clickbait strategy of) publishing articles about supposed "elite pedophile rings."
Neon Nettle's history of fake news includes their publishing multiple false "FBI insider" reports about non-existent pedophile rings and false articles about celebrities' dishing dirt on "elite child trafficking" rings.
As of this writing, Harvey Weinstein has not been charged with any crime, much less a federal one, for which he would need to "cut a deal" with the FBI. (Moreover, the FBI is an investigative agency only; any negotiations of plea deals regarding prosecution for federal crimes would need to be conducted with the U.S. Department of Justice.)
Weinstein has reportedly been checked in at a treatment facility since the scandal broke, denying the accusations made against him and not spilling his guts to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
As of the publication of this article, neither the FBI nor the Weinstein Company had returned our requests for comment.