Game Commission Denies Rumor About Orange Face Masks

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HARRISBURG, Pa. – Pennsylvania hunters have become the hunted.

(Screen capture of the Facebook hoax alleging Pennsylvania hunters will be required to wear orange face masks this hunting season.)

Online pranksters recently took aim at Pennsylvania’s hunters by sharing a “news article” claiming Gov. Tom Wolf and the Pennsylvania Game Commission will require all hunters to wear an orange face mask this hunting season.

The PGC issued a statement, released on its website and Facebook page, pointing out the claim is false.

“There is a false post circulating on social media, featuring the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s name and logo, stating hunters are required to wear fluorescent orange face masks while hunting this year,” the statement said. “This is NOT TRUE. The Pennsylvania Game Commission IS NOT requiring hunters to wear fluorescent orange face masks while hunting this fall. All florescent orange requirements are outlined in the 2020-21 Hunting and Trapping Digest.”

(Screen capture from channel22news.com story regarding orange face masks shows the “You’ve been pranked” image directly to the right of the headline. On mobile devices, the image does not appear until after the story.) 

The false post comes from channel22news.com, a website used to create “prank” news stories. The site, one in a network of prank news sites, has had other stories gain enough traction to require officials to publicly rebuke them.

While the site has a clown image stating “You’ve been pranked” immediately next to the headline on desktop devices, the image doesn’t appear until after the story for mobile users. The link also appears as though it comes from a reputable news source when posted to Facebook and Twitter.

The PGC encouraged people to correct any future posts with the fake article.

“Help spread the word to fellow Pennsylvania hunters by correcting false posts out there with the correct information,” the PGC statement said. “Agency news and updates can always be found on the agency’s official website and verified social media pages.”