Nearly every day, the top story on my phone is some alleged altercation that happened on a daytime talk show. It's not just a clickbait headline; the story misrepresents the talk show hosts as actually arguing, but they invariably "make up" at the end (because they were obviously just bantering the whole time).

Is there a real term for this, like a 'rift report' (I made that up, then found it in PC gaming context) versus a wordy and/or ambiguous work-around such as 'fake celeb-fight news'?

Context and fill-in-the-blank sentence:

Q: Did you see that Jack and Jill got into another argument today?

A: Every day, really? No, that is just [a current term along the lines of 'rift report'].

I'm searching for a common term, what to call it as succinctly as possible.

The reason being, to bridge this epic generation gap…and avoid this side of a conversation (a complete misunderstanding):

No, they were really going at it … So they staged it then? … Taken out of context, how? I saw the clip … I couldn't play the whole video, but I read the whole article … Yes, I did … Again with the "fake news"—it haaappened … Don't worry about it; they made up … We're "bantering" right now, so what? … Never mind, it's all good.

So I don't need a formal or technical term, but to show research, two of the deeper search results follow:

A search for 'types of fake news' returned broad categories of fake news: false news, polarized content, satire, etc. [phys.org] and types of disinformation such as false context or manipulated content [uiowa.edu].

(Who knew that 'false news' was one of 'the seven types of fake news'? That's a pretty catchy title…)

  • You may perhaps say "A: Every day, really? No, that is just an artificial quarrel.
    – Graffito
    Commented Apr 15, 2023 at 14:59

2 Answers 2


An article from gossip site Nicki Swift describes this phenomenon (emphasis mine):

Celebrity feuds are fun to watch from the sidelines. You can passively root for whichever dog in the fight that you happen to prefer without having to get actively involved or stop anyone from coming to blows. But some huge celebrity feuds were actually made up—or at least blown out of proportion by the media. These celeb feuds weren't exactly real: they were either made up by the participants or by the gossip rags. After all, who really wants to let the facts get in the way of a good story about a feud?

Based on this article, one could call such incidents "made-up celebrity feuds." Perhaps "fake feuds" would be more concise. If you want to describe the writing about such alleged disputes, you could call it "fake feud gossip."

Disclaimer: as noted in the comments, this is not a fixed phrase or a specific established idiom; rather, it is an description roughly borrowed from the above article.

  • 2
    ELU concentrates on established usage (individual words actually used, fixed phrases; examples of grammatical constructions ...) not ad-hoc suggestions. How idiomatic (widely used) are these suggestions? General writing advice is off-topic. Commented Apr 15, 2023 at 14:43
  • 2
    The expression “celebrity feuds” appears to be gaining some currency in gossip sites google.com/… . And Ngram shows an increasing usage from the 90s. books.google.com/ngrams/…
    – user 66974
    Commented Apr 15, 2023 at 16:10
  • @EdwinAshworth This use of "feud" to describe spats between celebrities is fairly common, but you are correct that this isn't a fixed phrase, established idiom, or individual word; if you think it breaks the rules I can remove it and/or add a disclaimer.
    – alphabet
    Commented Apr 15, 2023 at 17:27
  • I edited the conversation part to make it clearer, hopefully, but you understood it the first time, so it doesn't affect your answer; thanks again. Commented Apr 15, 2023 at 18:14
  • Please check on whether non-collocate strings are (in themselves or in devised matrix sentences) really appropriate answers on ELU (obviously when the request is for a string rather than a grammatical usage). Commented Apr 15, 2023 at 18:45

I'm thinking beef is usually made up and blown out of proportion, so I would coopt "beef" and play along unless my intent was to explicitly call out a fraud.

  • 1
    Anyway fraud can refer to a person or situations or setups involving multiple persons.
    – vectory
    Commented Apr 15, 2023 at 20:57
  • 1
    Well, if there's no meat to the beef, I'd call it a "vegan beef". Just think how much fun you can have: "Ah, it's just a vegan beef." "Vegan beef?" "Yeah, there's no meat to it."
    – JonathanZ
    Commented Apr 16, 2023 at 0:15

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