First lady Michelle Obama is not behind a sinister plot to deprive Navy sailors of their hard-won fried chicken. (Reuters/Stefano Rellandini)

There is so much fake stuff on the Internet in any given week that we’ve grown tired of debunking it all. Fake Twitter fights. Fake pumpkin-spice products. Amazing viral video? Nope — a Jimmy Kimmel stunt!

So, rather than take down each and every undeservedly viral story that crosses our monitors each week, we’re rounding them all up in a quick, once-a-week Friday debunk of fake photos, misleading headlines and bad studies that you probably shouldn’t share over the weekend. Ready? Here’s what was fake on the Internet this week:

1. A Vermont pastor wasn’t sentenced to a year in prison for refusing to officiate a gay wedding. Several high-profile conservative commentators — including Fox News’s Shannon Bream — apparently fell for this latest hoax from serial mega-troll Paul Horner, who should literally never be believed. (Pro tip: Horner always includes his own name in all of his stories. So if you read a crazy news item mentioning him, withhold your outraged tweets.)

In this particular tale, Horner played the role of a 56-year-old pastor who refused to marry a couple at the Christian Proctor Church — which, as you can imagine, does not actually exist. The story published in quick succession on Horner’s own hoax site, News Examiner, as well as WIT Science and the knock-off NBC.co.uk; it was shared well over 50,000 times between the three. Writing at Christianity Today, the Christian blogger Ed Stetzer pronounced the incident “embarrassing”: “you just make us all look gullible,” he complained. Stetzer also has some advice for readers who passed the fake around: Check your sources in the future. And for now, take your post down.

2. Michelle Obama did not remove fried food from Navy menus. Fried-chicken fans, in the military and outside of it, are outraged — OUTRAGED, I tell you — that first lady Michelle Obama has forced her “nutrition” and “health” and “vegetables” on Navy sailors.

THANKS OBAMA. (NavyTimes.com) THANKS OBAMA. (NavyTimes.com)

On Sunday, the Navy Times published a story about changes to the Navy’s food service programs, which will nix fryers, increase the number of healthy foods available to sailors, and add calorie counts to base menus.

From there, the fried-chicken contingent was off running: “Michelle Obama needs to STFU,” reads one indicative comment; “Michelle Takes Food From U.S. Navy,” reads a widely shared headline from the Conservative Tribune.

Except … as the Conservative Tribune itself admits, albeit way down in the piece, Michelle Obama had literally nothing to do with this. Instead, the changes are part of a sweeping overhaul to the Navy’s physical fitness guidelines that Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced in Annapolis in May. The motivation for that overhaul is not “political correctness” or adherence to some Obama agenda, but rather, as Mabus said at the time, better preparing sailors for combat and reducing their medical costs. (Believe it or not, even someone who works out a lot can have diet-related health problems.)

3. A Florida man was not arrested for having sex with an alligator. Sure: If an incident like this were to happen, it would happen in Florida. But in that case, one presumes it would’ve been reported by an actual news outlet — and not a site by the name “Thug Virals.” The Thug Virals post, which claimed a 59-year-old fisherman kept a 12-foot alligator “tied and blindfolded” in his backyard, has been shared well over 100,000 times. The Collier County Sheriff’s Office has helpfully confirmed that it’s “as fake as crocodile tears” — in case the shady URL didn’t tip you off.

4. A Florida teen did not permanently dye her face black doing the “Don’t Judge” Challenge. More fake news out of Florida (!): Contrary reports on TMZToday.com — which neither reads nor looks like the actual TMZ — a teenager didn’t “tragically” color her face black with permanent marker, and will not require major corrective surgery. TMZToday is fake, and the photo associated with the story is old. While we’re not entirely sure where it started, it appears regularly in round-ups of stupid people photos.

5. Google is not buying Twitter. Twitter’s stock jumped 5 percent after an apparent Bloomberg article said Google might buy it. The only issue? The story appeared not on Bloomberg.com, but on Bloomberg.market. That domain, which has since been taken down, was registered in Panama late last week. While we don’t know who created the fake, knock-off domain, or what their intention might’ve been, we do know that as thousands of new top-level domains get approved, these hoaxes will likely get more common.

6. The Islamic State didn’t tweet a warning about the Chattanooga shooting. Both Fox News and Pamela Geller, the very popular/deranged anti-Islam blogger, reported that an Islamic State fighter warned of an attack in Chattanooga on Twitter Thursday morning. Someone with a menacing, convincingly Islamic State-like account did indeed send such a tweet! They just did it at 1:34 p.m. Eastern time — hours after the shooting.

7. An Instagram star’s fake butt did not explode. NewsWatch33 — the up-and-coming hoax news site that previously brought you Bey & Jay’s Confederate flag escapade“reported” that a woman was in critical condition after her butt plants exploded at the gym recently. While some 15,000 people, and at least two legitimate news outlets, repeated the story credulously, NewsWatch33 is a fiction — and the woman pictured still seems to have an intact, augmented booty.

Did we miss any other notable fake stuff this week? E-mail caitlin.dewey@washpost.com — or stay tuned until next week, because surely some more shenanigans will go down in the meantime.

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