Man creates fake Google search result about Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith to catch out Twitter users

Prank designed to show how fast content can spread over the internet without fact-checking or credit

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The Independent Online

A MIT researcher has tricked several Twitter users into believing a made-up fact about Will and Jada Pinkett Smith.

Jonathan Sun, a writer, designer and researcher at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology, tweeted a fake “fact” about the celebrity couple naming their children, Jaden and Willow, after a combination of their first and middle names.

He created a fake Google search result for the celebrity couple to that suggested their full names were “Willard Oliver Smith” and “Jada Naomi Pinkett Smith”.

The tweet soon went viral, with many users responding that they had “know that for years”.

It was then picked up by comedy and parody accounts who did not credit Mr Sun.

Speaking to Buzzfeed, he explained he pulled the prank to demonstrate how fast content can spread over the internet without any fact-checking or credit to the original owner.

He said: “What people don’t understand is that original comedians and writers on Twitter are not making any money from tweeting their material and that they’re putting it into the world for free.

“Just so it can be out there and for people to read and laugh at and respond to. The only thing we ask in return is to be able to be credited for our work.”