LM had deliberately posted a false article on Triond. There had been no attempt to Network it or direct traffic to it. It was posted, and left.
Over time it became popular, was plagiarised and published on various other sites. If one had done a search at the time, the plagiarised versions ranked higher than the original.
After this happened, LM removed the Article from Triond.
The expectation was that once removed the plagiarizers would appreciate they had been mislead and take down their versions.
They did not.
They had copied an pasted an item which claimed a particular minor actor was Gay. The original was removed. They obviously didn’t check or care. Their articles remained on line.
Not only were these articles getting hits, they were getting pages of comments. They had taken on a life of their own, and no longer had any relation to the Triond item.
This result was unexpected, for some of the items had given attribution and anyone who wished to check the veracity would be directed to Triond, where the item no longer existed.
The fact the plagiarised articles remained alive suggested there was no effort made to ‘prove’ or ‘disprove’ the veracity.
In short, people believed whatever they saw online without proof, without attempting to verify.