An Indian restaurant in New Cross “could shut down” after a fake news story spread on Facebook that it was serving human bodies.
KarriTwist reopened two years ago as an Indian restaurant and takeaway and was slowly building up its reputation until the fake story appeared.
On the website channel23news.com, users can submit 'fake news' to "prank" their friends with a large button to upload the story directly to Facebook.
One user wrote the story with the all caps headline “ASIAN RESTAURANT SHUT DOWN FOR USING HUMAN MEAT”.
The story, which consisted of a single sentence complete with spelling and punctuation errors, said: “Last night Indian restaraunt owner Rarjan Patel was arreasted for using human meat in his food recipes at his New Cross Restaurant, it is said that a total of 9 Human Body’s were found frozen ready to be processed for meat, Rarjan Patel remains in Custody for further questioning whilst the restaurant has been closed down.”
The obvious unprofessional structure of the story did not deter people from believing the story when they saw it on Facebook however.
Picture: This was just one of many Facebook posts sharing the story
Shinra Begum, the owner of the restaurant, said that she had received hundreds of calls from people since the story went live, as well as a visit from the police.
She said: “One person said he would have broken the windows if our shutters weren’t up. One member of the public did report it to the police.
“It has greatly affected our business. We have had people call us up telling us 'how dare you serve us human meat'. If it wasn’t happening to me I would laugh about it.
“This has done the rounds everywhere and people are believing this. I have had people from Sunderland and Scotland message me from people asking me if I know about this.
“I’m still getting messages today asking me why I am selling human bodies.”
Ms Begum’s family have owned the building for 60 years. It was originally owned by her father for 40 years before his death.
But now her business is under threat and she’s getting fewer customers since the fake news started showing up on Facebook.
Similar stories have appeared about other London Indian restaurants on the website, claiming the owners were involved in 45 man gay orgies or raping grannies.
She said: “People are actually believing this message about this restaurant. People just believe anything that they see on Facebook.
“We have had it for 60 years and it could shut down after somebody wrote something like this. I have had to cut staff hours because we are not as busy.
“People have got families that are affected by this. I have dedicated myself to it for a few years and it can all go in a weekend.”