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As if there isn't enough fake news to be worried about, it turns out that the footage of "animal abuse" from the set of the film A Dog's Purpose that went viral in January was faked, The Verge reports. The footage, which was originally released by TMZ, shows a distressed dog being forced into a pool of water by a handler. The news of the maltreatment quickly spread, resulting in the premiere being canceled, and consequently led to protests at theaters. But it was all for nothing.

An investigation by a third-party organization, which included an "animal cruelty expert" revealed that the footage was doctored to look worse than it actually was. In a statement released by the American Humane Association, the organization that supervised animal treatment on set, the investigation concluded that the video "was deliberately edited for the purpose of misleading the public and stoking outrage." In the clip, a distressed German Shepherd is shown being forced into a pool water. But the investigation concluded that the dog "was not forced to swim in the water at any time" and that filming was stopped when he appeared distressed. Now, some are wondering if the release of the doctored video was timed specifically with the release of the film, so as to ruin its box office success.

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In the wake of the election, the onus of spreading fake news has mainly fallen on conservatives, though there are some liberal outlets that are responsible for the spreading of untrue articles as well. But for those of us who operate online in a liberal sphere where most of the articles being shared are from the New York Times, this was a story that punctured that bubble, serving as a reminder that fake news comes in many forms and isn't always political in nature. Yet another reminder to be wary, stay vigilant, and choose your sources carefully because it's all a pack of lies out there. If you need something real to be mad about, just remember that our president is Donald Trump.

Sources: The Verge