BERKELEY, Calif. – In her most recent Whatsapp message, Junior Jyothi Reddy’s mother forwarded her a news story about a Trader Joe’s lacing their Himalayan Rock Salt with Fentanyl and moldy shredded parmesan, followed by asking “Did You Hear About this?” 

“I tried to explain to her that it makes no sense for a grocery store to spend tens of thousands of dollars on fentanyl and then put that in their food to try to poison the people who give them money. She just kept saying that ‘it says it right there so it must be true,’” explained Reddy. “She sends like ten of these posts a week. I remember the last time, it was something about how Vladimir Putin was actually having an illicit affair with Ron Desantis in the Cayman Islands and the picture looked like it was made in MS Paint.”

“I’m just looking out for my daughter. She’s out there in college all on her own, experiencing the real world for the first time” she said of her 21-year-old daughter who has been living away from home for the past three years. “Jyothi is a sweet child but she is still naive. She is just out in the world trusting anyone and anything without even questioning if they are being truthful or not” continued Reddy while posting a fake news story from a website that immediately downloaded a virus onto her computer when she clicked the link. 

Other members of Nagamani Reddy’s family commented on the impact of her complete lack of media literacy.

“It’s gone way too far,” said Jyothi’s 15-year-old pubescent brother Raj. “She glanced at the headline of some pseudo-scientific article claiming drinking half a gallon of milk each day will make you live ten years longer. But now, I’m just drowning in milk every day and the dairy is making my face oily and filled with acne and my breath perpetually reeks. And I’m a freshman in high school so I’m already at an all time low in terms of self esteem so it’s just all combining to push that even lower.” 

After joking about her mother’s inability to discern fake news, Jyothi Reddy was reported sending a TikTok to her friend about how fedoras are actually a government-funded scheme to surveil the people with the caption “not surprised tbh.”

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