Banksy, the famed UK-based graffiti artist and political activist, has been a controversial and mysterious figure since his work began gaining notoriety in the 1990s. He has made headlines countless times for his politically charged artwork, his elusive nature, and his surprising installations. Most recently, his alleged arrest jolted him yet again into the international spotlight, as many speculated that his real identity might finally be released.
However, reports explain that Banksy has not been arrested. There were reports all over the news earlier this week, but it was a complete hoax. “The Banksy arrest is a hoax,” the street artist’s publicist, Jo Brooks, told The Independent. There was a false story published on National Report, that alleges that the identity of the British street artist has been revealed finally after he was arrested in London.
Supposedly the arrest had taken place, and Banksy was charged “without bail on charges of vandalism, conspiracy, racketeering and counterfeiting.” The story also claimed that the artist’s studio in London had been raided where “thousands of dollars of counterfeit money along with future projects of vandalism” that were found, along with an idea of the artist pinning him as Liverpool-born Paul Homer.
Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter exploded with speculation from the public. For those of you that don’t know, the National Report is an American satire website. The entire article talked about how a 350-year-old man was apprehended by authorizes in London and the man was confirmed as Banksy. This initial report sparked a series of other fictitious press releases that perpetuated the hysteria that followed.
There are many falsities in the article, like the claim that BBC has confirmed the story and that the City of London Police Chief Lyndon Edwards held a press conference to answer questions, both of which did not happen, not to mention that Edwards does not even exist. Despite all of these fictitious giveaways, the hoax tricked many people and amplified Banksy’s elusive persona once again.
Images: via banksy.co.uk.