The US government says a fake news website has published a fake report that a satellite launch could take place this month.
The site, SpaceX, published an article saying that a Falcon 9 rocket could be sent to an undisclosed location in southern California.
The US military says the mission would be for the US Air Force, but the site has been accused of using an online hoaxer to get the launch to take place.
“We are very concerned about this article and we will continue to investigate the report and make appropriate adjustments if necessary,” SpaceX said in a statement.
The Pentagon said it had issued an official denial to SpaceX.
“There is no credible news source claiming to provide a launch date or a location,” it said.
“SpaceX’s article and the source of its information are false.
We have zero tolerance for this kind of behavior.”
The site’s editor, Adam Bresson, told Reuters news agency that his site had received thousands of fake news articles about SpaceX and other space ventures.
“A lot of it is false, but some of it has some merit,” he said.
“It’s an open challenge.
If you are a real news source and you are getting these fake stories, you have to take a stand.”
The US space agency is trying to improve its tracking system to track the rocket.
It launched a satellite last year that was reported to have exploded in orbit.