Stay Hoaxy, iNewswire.com
In another hoax, a 16-year-old Google fan was able to get a fake press release announcing his hiring by the search engine onto Google News.
iNewswire.com was booted as a source for Google News on Wednesday. But PRWeb.com, another free service for which anyone could theoretically enroll (around since 1997), still gets its releases into the Google News Search engine. Its website notes that editors review all releases prior to distribution. They might be able to catch obvious hoaxes and hate speech, but I somehow doubt they're calling every company to verify facts.
Supposedly, real PR firms use PRWeb. I noticed a few agencies I know on the list of "Platinum Members," but I don't know if they actually use it in lieu of BusinessWire/PR Newswire/MarketWire (the three largest pay services) or if their listings are mostly to advertise to an audience of likely PR-newbies. With other 'firms' like "Hippie Chick Twang - Author-Recording Artist-Songwriter-Media Services," it's not exactly a Who's Who list.
Interested in comments from anyone who has found real value in a free wire service.