A Missouri State University student from Kansas City went viral last week after he used social media to share emails in which he begged his professor for extra credit using Black Eyed Peas’ lyrics.
Amused, adjunct professor Christen Moore seemed to concede to student Deondre Wallace’s pleas.
The problem? The emails were fake, concocted by Wallace himself in a supposed effort to teach the world how quickly false information spreads on the Internet.
According to the Springfield News-Leader, Wallace is a student at Missouri State taking Moore’s class. But he created the emails himself, leaving clues meant to arouse suspicion, such as emails that didn’t exist and time stamps that indicated Moore had responded in only a few minutes.
"For making me laugh, I will just give you and the rest of the class 20 extra credit points. It's been a pleasure having you in class this semester. I'll see you Thursday!" Moore supposedly replied, but the post didn’t include an email address or sender.
As of Wednesday, the post had been shared nearly 28,000 times on Twitter and had been “liked” by 64,000 users. Major publications, such as Cosmopolitan and the Daily Mail, picked up the story without verifying its accuracy.
Wallace told the News-Leader he "wanted to show how fast fake news spreads throughout social media, illustrate how gullible people on the internet are, and prove that you can't believe everything you see on the internet as well."
You can watch Moore and Elizabeth Dudash-Buskirk, a Missouri State faculty member and a fellow with the Center for Community Engagement, respond to the incident here.