CHICAGO, Aug. 18 (UPI) -- Despite widespread rumors to the contrary, entertainment personality and former WWE superstar CM Punk was not arrested on Sunday or at all recently, as reports stating he was are part of an uncharacteristically successful social media trolling campaign.
The rumor began sometime Friday and rapidly gained traction throughout the weekend before finally getting debunked. Its origins lie in a fake link repeatedly posted to Twitter and Facebook accompanied by some variation of the text "CM Punk arrested."
The link connected interested parties to an apparent troll-counter that displays a drawing of an Asian man grinning jovially, accompanied by the text "You Got Owned" and the number of people affected by the link. Albeit now skewed due to widespread interest in the story behind the faux story, the taunting image currently has nearly 130,000 page views.
Although anyone interested would quickly learn the headline was fake, in the self-perpetuating echo chamber of social media, the rumor began to grow despite being such an obvious fraud.
The rumor became so viral that CM Punk was forced to address his fictional legal troubles, sarcastically "confirming" his arrest to an inquiring fan via Twitter.