The Museum of Hoaxes
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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Social Networking Sites
No smoking, drinking, skateboarding, dogs at mall
Posted by The Curator on Tue Feb 12, 2013
Ipswich City councillor Andrew Antoniolli posted on facebook that this would be the new sign at the Ipswich Mall — warning people, in a visually economical way, of all the things they couldn't do there. A local radio station believed him, but it was actually just a joke image downloaded from the internet. No idea what the original source of the image was.
Seriously Richview Collegiate
Posted by The Curator on Tue Feb 12, 2013
A picture of a letter detailing a blatantly racist policy supposedly adopted by a Toronto-area high school, Richview Collegiate Institute, was all over Twitter recently. The letter reads: Dear teachers and students, As of late the safety of our students' has been brought into question. Due to a frequent increase in student robberies and fights this letter has been sent out to inform students on safety precautions that are to be taken to protect their well being. Personal belongings are to be kept with you at all times. Do not leave any belongings in the change room as they may be stolen. In the halls avoid eye contact with African-American students. They have a higher…
Fake Ed Asner tries to help Pittsburgh cinema
Posted by The Curator on Fri Feb 08, 2013
Yet another example of a celebrity imposter masquerading online. In this case, the imposter evidently thought their deception was for a worthy cause. Nevertheless, it's still a deception. Fake Ed Asner Endorses Struggling Dormont Theater CBS Pittsburgh The Facebook post from the fake Ed Asner page reads "Help the Hollywood Theater! One of Pittsburgh's last historic neighborhood cinemas. I have found memories of visiting this venue as a much younger man while visiting relatives. I'll double every donation!" Theater manager Chad Hunter was excited but skeptical when he saw the post. He tried sending a thank you message to Asner via the social media website but never heard back. That's when…
The Perennial Return of Future Day
Posted by The Curator on Thu Jun 28, 2012
In the 1989 movie Back to the Future Part II, Marty McFly and Doc Brown use the time-traveling Delorean to travel from 1985 to October 21, 2015. In the movie, this date is briefly seen displayed on the car's onboard time monitor. So Oct 21, 2015 is officially "Future Day," when Marty McFly will arrive in what will then be the present. But people don't want to wait that long, so hoaxers keep setting "Future Day" to a date closer at hand. The first time this happened was in 2010, when Total Film magazine mistakenly declared July 5, 2010 to be Future Day — and then created a fake image to back…
Pepsi Moonvertising Hoax Fools Thousands in Iran
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jun 13, 2012
On Saturday (June 9) thousands of Iranians stood outside on rooftops looking up at the moon. They were there because of a rumor spread by email, websites, and social networks promising that Pepsi was going to project its logo onto the surface of the moon. The rumor was false. Link: observers.france24.com Some Iranians got their revenge by drinking Coke. Others created Pepsi-moon parody videos and images. There's a bit of history to the idea of ads projected onto the moon. Back in 1999, Coca-Cola actually considered the idea of using lasers to project a Coke…
How Abraham Lincoln Invented Facebook (a hoax)
Posted by The Curator on Thu May 10, 2012
On Wednesday, Nate St. Pierre posted an interesting story on his blog. He detailed his discovery of an attempt by Abraham Lincoln in 1845 to create and patent a social-networking system that very much resembled Facebook. Only it was an all-paper version of Facebook, and Lincoln didn't call it Facebook. In his patent application he supposedly called it "The Gazette," and he described it as a system to "keep People aware of Others in the Town." He laid out a plan where every town would have its own Gazette, named after the town itself. He listed the Springfield Gazette as his Visual Appendix, an example of the system he was talking about. Lincoln was proposing…
The Great Twitter Girl-In-A-Noodle Hoax
Posted by The Curator on Wed Apr 18, 2012
Over the weekend, on Saturday night, @chicagobars posted this tweet: Word immediately began to spread around Twitter that someone was trapped inside the giant noodle sculpture across from Wrigley Field. Half-an-hour later, @chicagobars posted an update. It all seemed quite plausible. People could imagine how it might occur to a drunken reveler to crawl inside the noodle and then get stuck inside. So the news was retweeted and re-retweeted, magnified in the great Twitter echo chamber. Until finally @chicagobars admitted the truth. There was no girl trapped inside the noddle. It had all just been a joke.…
Ridiculously Photogenic Guy vs. Gorgeous Guy
Posted by The Curator on Mon Apr 09, 2012
If you follow internet memes at all, you're going to be aware of 'Ridiculously Photogenic Guy'. The title has been attached to 25-year-old Zeddie Little of New York. A picture of him was taken while he was running a 10k race in South Carolina. He seemed to look upbeat and well-composed, while everyone else looked like they were suffering. Someone uploaded the picture to reddit, with the comment, "My friend calls him 'Mr Ridiculously Photogenic Guy'". The image and title promptly went viral, making Little an overnight internet celebrity. Ridiculously Photogenic Guy This immediately reminded me of the Gorgeous Guy phenomenon, from way back in 2001, in which a guy's picture…
Ghetto Hikes
Posted by The Curator on Fri Feb 24, 2012
The author of "Ghetto Hikes," which is a twitter feed and accompanying website, offers this description of it: I'm 28. I have a full time job leading urban kids (of all races) on nature hikes. I simply write down shit they say. It's kind of obvious that it's a parody in the style of "Shit My Dad Says," but the Village Voice confirms it isn't real: Looks like Ghetto Hikes is a parody account -- and an unfunny one at that. According to a just-released tweet, Men's Humor and Ghetto Hikes were registered by the same person. The most surprising thing about Ghetto Hikes is…
CLOO: The Socially Networked Toilet
Posted by The Curator on Thu Sep 08, 2011
The brilliant (or incredibly stupid) idea behind CLOO is to use social networking to make it easier to find somewhere to pee in big cities. The CLOO website explains: CLOO' is based on one simple truth— we all have to pee. Though in urban cities finding a clean, available restroom is difficult & frustrating. That’s where CLOO' comes in. CLOO' is a community of registered users who choose to share their bathrooms and make city-living easier, while earning a small profit. Using social media connections, CLOO' shows what friends you have in common with the host,…
Moms Behaving Badly
Posted by The Curator on Mon May 11, 2009
A dispute between two young girls escalated into an online fight between the mothers. The mother of one of the girls posted an ad on Craigslist offering sex with men, and listed the phone number of the other girl's mother as the contact. Twenty-two people called the number. The woman has now been charged with aggravated harrassment. [Newsday]
Tila Tequila Not Dead
Posted by The Curator on Tue Apr 14, 2009
You can breathe a sigh of relief. Tila Tequila is not dead, despite the "tweet" posted on her twitter account claiming that someone had broken into her house and killed her and her dog. Seems that someone had hacked into her account. I have no idea who Tila Tequila is. I'm guessing she's some kind of D-list celebrity. [binside]
Twitter Premium Services
Posted by The Curator on Fri Mar 20, 2009
An article that ran on the satire site BBSpot has apparently fooled some Twitterers. It claimed that Twitter was going to begin charging for "premium" services as follows: * Sparrow ($5/month) – Users get 145 character limit, 5 extra random followers. * Dove ($15/month) – Users get 160 character limit, 25 extra random followers, 1 random celebrity follower, auto-spell check, "Fail Whale" T-shirt. * Owl ($50/month) – Users get 250 character limit, 100 extra random followers, 2 random celebrity followers, 30 minutes on recommended list, auto-spell check, "Fail Whale" hoodie. * Eagle ($250/month) – Users…
Love in the age of Facebook
Posted by The Curator on Tue Feb 17, 2009
It's hard to tell how much of this story is genuine. Stuart Slann supposedly learned the hard way part of the truth of the old joke that on the internet the men are men, the women are men, and the children are FBI agents. In Stuart's case, Emma, the woman he thought he met on Facebook, was actually two guys playing an elaborate prank on him. Apparently they lured him into driving nine hours to meet Emma in Aberdeen, and then they revealed the truth to him. And since this is the age of YouTube, the pranksters also created a video (now widely viewed) to celebrate the humiliation of their victim.
The Dalai Lama Twitters and then is gone
Posted by The Curator on Wed Feb 11, 2009
February 1: The Dalai Lama joins the micro-blogging service Twitter and starts posting updates, which soon almost 20,000 people are following. February 9: Twitter announces that the Dalai Lama's account is a fake and cancels it. This explanatory message was posted on the Twitter blog: One of the essential doctrines of Buddhism is Impermanence. The word expresses the notion that everything we can experience through our senses is in flux, constantly changing, and ceasing to be—nothing is permanent. Is there some meaning, therefore, in the sudden disappearance of a Twitter account thought…
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All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.