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Analysts say Google is planning to acquire 4chan (not really)

MarketWatch.com is a highly regarded website which provides stock market news, financial insight and many press releases from companies and analysts. It’s a handy source of information, but as today has proved, not everything should be taken as the absolute truth.

In a press release from a South African finance website, which concentrated on Google and Yahoo’s recent performance, the following snippet of “news” was slipped in at the end:

“Most recently the company [Google] has begun discussions to acquire the website 4chan which would bring with it a large user base.”

So, that’s a press release from a group of analysts published on a respected website, “reporting” one of the most bizarre rumors we’ve heard in a while.

It’s hard not to believe though, as 4chan, the home of /b/ and the birthplace of just about every meme you’ve every smirked at, must be at the top of every billion-dollar corporation’s shopping list.

We foresee an Instagram-beating sale price and Facebook-levels of hype surrounding an IPO in the near future.

Yeah, right

Of course, there’s not a chance this is true.

Despite using a gmail.com email address, and including more links back to its registration page in its press release than there are pony references on 4chan, the company does get its press releases published on other financial sites too, including Bloomberg. Meaning there will be a few sites who may not immediately dismiss it as nonsense.

To help clear things up, Buzzfeed.com asked 4chan founder Christopher Poole for a comment, to which he replied “seems legit.”

What it isn’t though, is original, as way back in 2008, comedy news website scrapeTV.com wrote a story about Google preparing to buy 4chan. Perhaps this is the analyst’s mystery source?

Amusement at the absurdity of Google buying 4chan aside, this acts as another reminder — as if one were needed — not to believe everything you read on the Internet.