LONDON, Oct. 20 (UPI) -- Banksy has not been arrested, and his name's not Paul Horner.
The false unmasking of the British street artist came courtesy of the fake news site National Report, which claimed Banksy had been taken into custody by Metropolitan Police Monday morning.
Within six hours, the story had rocketed around social media, shared more than 200,000 times on Facebook and Twitter.
The National Report cited a press conference from the (nonexistent) Chief Lyndon Edwards of the London Police and confirmation from Banksy's (real) agent Jo Brooks to back up its bogus story.
"The Banksy arrest is a hoax," Brooks did confirm to the Independent.
National Report claims Horner, 35, was arrested in Watford after a "24-hour anti-graffiti task force" staked out "different groups where Banksy was known to frequent" and arrested five men.
"We then raided the studio where this group was last seen leaving from. Inside we found thousands of dollars of counterfeit money along with future projects of vandalism," the story said, quoting the nonexistent Chief Edwards. "We also found a passport and ID of a Paul Horner who matched the description of the man that we are currently holding."
The image of two officers hauling off a man with a shirt over his face is actually one from 2011, when police arrested troublemakers who planned to disrupt the annual Notting Hill Carnival.
In fact, "Paul Horner" is the same name used in several previous hoaxes: He is quoted as a Facebook executive in one that frequently goes around saying the social media site will begin charging $2.99 a month; he is also named as the 15-year-old Louisiana teen sentenced to 25 years in prison for calling a SWAT team on a friend.
Last February, a press release telling a nearly identical story circulated claiming Banksy had been arrested and identifying him as Paul Horner.
In other words, the world can expect more subversive street art from the still free, and still unnamed, Banksy.