10 viral hoaxes that fooled the Web in 2015

10 viral hoaxes that fooled the Web in 2015

10 Viral Hoaxes That Fooled The Web In 2015

10 Viral Hoaxes That Fooled The Web In 2015

George W. Bush once famously said, “Fool me once disgrace on … shame on you. Fool me … you can’t get fooled again, ” or something like that.

Now here’s a guy who did it right. By inserting his own footage into this newscast and uploading it to YouTube, director/ actorAndrew Bowserwas able to buffoon millions of people into thinking he was the world’s most tweaked-out Satanist. Other than the fact that this guy is too great to be believed, it’s hard to tell from the video that it’s fake. However, it didn’t take Daily Dot’s Eve Peyser much digging to discover Bowser’s other videos, some of which are almost as hilarious as the gem above.

Grade: B +

3 ) Chocolate helps weight loss

Bogus weight loss claims are all over the Internet, so what attains this one special? Perhaps that Johannes Bohannon is an actual scientist who went out of his way to help us is how distorted facts can help a company, person, or group, claim almost anything it wants. Nothing Bohannon and his collaborators published was a lie, yet chocolate almost certainly doesn’t accelerate weight loss. Here’s how he explained it in his article, which is worth reading in its entirety.

Heres a dirty little science secret: If you measure a large number of things about a small number of people, you are almost guaranteed to get a statistically significant result. Our examine included 18 different measurementsweight, cholesterol, sodium, blood protein levels, sleep quality, well-being, etc.from 15 people.( One topic was fallen .) That examine design is a recipe for false positives.

Think of the measurements as lottery tickets. Each one has a small chance of paying off in the form of a significant result that it is possible to spin a narrative around and sell to the media. The more tickets you buy, the more likely “youre gonna have to” win. We didnt know exactly what would pan outthe headline could have been that chocolate improves sleep or lowers blood pressurebut we knew our chances of getting at least one statistically significant outcome were pretty good .

Bad science plus some Web savvy led to the results being published all over the web, even on major sites like The Huffington Post and Cosmopolitan. The lesson here is big, and it’s easy to see how everyone from legislators to major firms can use this mathematical “trick” to their advantage.

Grade: A +

4 ) Meth in the attic

Moving onto something that’s a little less scary and a bit more fun, we have this story about a charming couple cooking methamphetamine in the loft of a Walmart. The tale claimed that the two had been living in the lap of luxury in a Tennessee Walmart for over two years, and were only caught when they were overheard having sexuality on a queen sized bed they’d stolen from the store.

This one was really merely picked up by “news” sites even sketchier than the couple in the photos. Still, “its just” too good a headline, and it was passed around enough to made the number one spot on Snopes‘ “Hot 25 ” list of urban legends.

Grade: D+( the plus is for those amazing mugshots )

5) Rumblr

This one virtually got yours truly. I was five seconds away from filing an article I’d written about “Rumblr, ” an app that was supposedly like “Tinder for fighting.” Would-bepugilistscould swipe right on the faces the didn’t like and meet up at some agreed-upon location to punch each other’s lights out.Luckily, a last minute double-check turned up a Vice article thatrevealedthe hoax. Unluckily, that meant I had to completely rewrite.

Screw you, Rumblr. I’ll meet you in the alley.

Grade: B-

6) Gold-plated balls

Another narrative that was mainly picked up by fake news sites. This one tells the story of ” Justin Green”a man from either Atlanta, Georgia, or Alberta, Canada, depending on which version you readwho won the gamble, then died as a result of complications that arose after he had his testicles plated in gold.

The above picture, which accompanied all the narratives, actually depicts Polish rapper and MMA fighter Pawe “Popek” Rak, who to be honest seems entirely newsworthy in his own right.

Grade: C

7) Pregnant French girl wants to find baby daddy

In what had to be one of the most serious promotions of the year, digital marketing agencySunny Coast Social Mediacreated this video to promoteHoliday Mooloolaba, a company that receives rental properties for people vacationing in Australia.

The video shows us a young french girl named “Natalie” who spins a narrative about a one-night stand she had while staying in Mooloolaba, Australia. After telling us that she had an “amazing time, ” she goes on to say that she met a “really cute boy” and that it was “love at first sight”but oh , no! she lost his number and now she’s pregnant! Leaving her with no other option but to record a YouTube video and hope her lost love sees it, like a message in a bottle, defined adrift on the Internet sea.

Once they video racked up enough hittings, the title was changed and an annotation stating “I detected him, click here to watch! ” was added. Clicking on that connect have contributed to another video featuring what can only be described as the slimiest dude ever, telling you it was all a swindle, and that he’s sorrybut also that he plans to do many more video likes this.

Grade: F

8) Phuc Dat Bich

No, this doesn’t refer to the guy in the previous hoax.

Phuc Dat Bich was just some poorschlub whose account kept getting deleted by Facebook because they didn’t believe that was his real name . And it turns out it probably wasn’t .

The person behind the hoax told The Guardian that his real name was Tin Le, and that he lived in Melbourne, Australia. He claimed he made the whole thing up as a joke, and as a route to point out the flaws in Facebook’s naming policy. When asked for verification he replied that he was tired of the prank and reportedly told, Well, youll merely have to have faith and run with what you have.

Maybe not the best advice.

Grade: Ph

9) 50% off everything at Target

People are get used to some pretty insane bargains on Black Friday, but this one must have seemed excessive to even the most gullible of shoppers. Half off everything in the store? And it’s good until the end of the year ? Representatives from Target were quick to let people know that this was a fake. Clicking on the link only took you down a wormhole of endless surveys and violated promises . If you really want to see some insane bargains at Target, we much opt the work of this guy, who, in an only slightly lessbelievableoffer, promises shoppers a free falcon .

Grade: F

10) Dude caught watching porn in class

Grade: D( for douchebag )


It was around 4am when I was wrapping this article up. I was in the middle of trying to figure out what grade to give “Phuc Dat Bich” when I got a Facebook message from a friendwondering what I was doing up so late( his schedule is pretty much impossible to predict, and a message from him could pop up at any hour of the day ). When I told him I was working on an article about Internethoaxesheimmediatelyresponded :

“Isn’tthatredundant? ”

I asked him to explain, and here’s what he had to say :

The great hoaxes of the past involved infiltrating the few trusted media outlets and its constituent credibility to deceive a large number of people; now, with everyone having equal access to media distribution the idea of credibility of any devoted source is nearly obsolete and notion of an “internet hoax” almost redundant.

or something

Not bad for 4am( although I guess it was an hour earlier in Chicago ).

All of which reminds me of another quote 😛 TAGEND

The internet has induced us all experts and so eradicated the expert. Constructed us all famous and so eradicated renown. In this style, there is no more journalistic trust than the trust we can put in our fellow man. Democracy, fully realized, is a nightmare of freedom wherein we all are at each other’s compassion .

Bob Dylan, 1941 -2 015*

* N ot actually, but see how easy that is ? Drawing via Arallyn !/ Flickr( CC BY 2.0 )

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10 Viral Hoaxes That Fooled The Web In 2015
10 Viral Hoaxes That Fooled The Web In 2015
10 Viral Hoaxes That Fooled The Web In 2015
10 Viral Hoaxes That Fooled The Web In 2015
10 Viral Hoaxes That Fooled The Web In 2015

10 Viral Hoaxes That Fooled The Web In 2015

10 Viral Hoaxes That Fooled The Web In 2015

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