Spoof Report On Mike Tyson Sex Change Goes Viral After African Newspaper Reports As Fact

On Sunday, Zimbabwean newspaper The Standard carried reports that Mike Tyson, former heavyweight boxing champion, had undergone a sex change.

According to the website for the newspaper, Tyson had said his first menstrual cycle “would be a dream come true” and that he was changing his name to Michelle.

The article was, unsurprisingly, a hit, with 4,900 Facebook likes at the time of writing. A number of other African news sites, including Spy Ghana, soon picked up the story.

Unfortunately, the story isn’t true. The Standard appears to have picked up the story from News Biscuit, a UK-based satirical site that published a story on Tyson’s (not real) sex change in November. NewsBiscuit writer John O’Farrell told the BBC that the site has been getting so much traffic from Africa over the past few days that it keeps crashing.

Here’s a screen-grab of the Standard’s article that started it all:

Zimbabwe Standard