AP falls for hoax press release saying GE will donate $3.2B refund

Business Insider

The fake release -- titled "GE Responds to Public Outcry – Will Donate Entire $3.2 Billion Tax Refund to Help Offset Cuts and Save American Jobs" -- was posted on genewscenters.com. || Here's the AP story that's based on the bogus release.

Joe Weisenthal writes:

It's a pretty sophisticated fake, since genewscenters.com is just one letter off from genewscenter.com, where GE actually hosts its news.

AP's kill notice:

Date: 4/13/2011 10:21 AM
Kill - BC-US--GE Tax Refund,KILL/46

Eds: BULLETIN KILL. Do NOT use BC-US--GE Tax Refund. A kill is mandatory. The story was based on a press release that GE says was a hoax.

STORY REMOVED: BC-US--GE Tax Refund

The Associated Press has withdrawn its story about General Electric repaying its entire $3.2 billion tax refund to the US Treasury on April 18. The story was based on a press release that GE says was a hoax.
The AP

> AP: We didn't follow our standards for verifying releases

  • Jim Romenesko

    From 1999 to 2011, Jim Romenesko maintained the Romenesko page for the Poynter Institute, a Florida-based non-profit school for journalists. Poynter hired him in August of 1999, after seeing his MediaGossip.com, a hobby site he started in May of 1999.

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