A false report stating that a teenager was arrested and sentenced to 25 years in prison for "swatting" has been doing the rounds on social media.
The hoax article was first published by National Report, a satirical website, known for publishing fake articles and later it was carried by NY Meta and Secretsofthefed.com websites.
According to National Report, the 15-year-old Paul Horner was sentenced to 25 years in prison on charges of Domestic Terrorism in Louisiana courtroom.
"Horner is the first person in history to be charged with what is known as 'swatting', a growing trend in which a person anonymously files a false police report, such as a murder or bomb threat, in hopes of provoking the police to raid an individual's home or business. Prosecutors in the case proved that Horner called in multiple false threats against rival online gamers, resulting in SWAT team raids of their residence," the website reported.
The hoax article went viral and it is still being shared on social media platform, especially on Twitter. Along with the article, users are also posting a video, which was released in March this year. A 17-year-old was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for killing his girlfriend's toddler in March. The alleged video shows the teenager crying after he was sentenced to prison.
The video is not related to the article circulating online, but several users believed that the report as well as the article is genuine and expressed their disbelief.
"Gamers beware: "as young mister Horner has learned, actions in the real world don't have a reset button," a user posted.
"A 15 year old who swatted someone has been sentenced to 25 years in prison. Ouch."
"The kid who swatted @Kootra is behind bars, and is also a 15 year old. Immature kids."
"Some 15 year old got 25 to life for a stupid and dangerous prank gamers call SWATTING where they call a SWAT on you"
"15-years teenager condemned to 25 years in prison for false SWAT call."
"Gang, the story about the 15 yr old getting 25 years 2 life for #swatting is FALSE. Wish it were true but its not"