A message distributed to the members of Usenet (the online messaging community that was one of the first forms the internet took) announced that the Soviet Union was joining the network. This generated enormous excitement, since most Usenet members had assumed cold war security concerns would prevent such a link-up.
The message purported to come from Konstantin Chernenko (from the address [email protected]
) who explained that the Soviet Union wanted to join the network in order to "have a means of having an open discussion forum with the American and European people."
The message created a flood of responses, but two weeks later its true author, a European man named Piet Beertema, revealed it was a hoax. It is credited with being the first hoax on the internet. Six years later, when Moscow really did link up to the internet, it adopted the domain name 'kremvax' in honor of the hoax.
Kremvax Haiku (Submitted by Hoax Museum visitors)
Web unites old opponents?
Won’t get fooled again!