Hoax (wikipedia.org)

A hoax is a widely publicized falsehood so fashioned as to invite reflexive, unthinking acceptance by the greatest number of people of the most varied social identities and of the highest possible social pretensions to gull its victims into putting up the highest possible social currency in support of the hoax.

Whereas the promoters of frauds, fakes, and scams devise them so that they will withstand the highest degree of scrutiny customary in the affair, hoaxers are confident, justifiably or not, that their representations will receive no scrutiny at all. They have such confidence because their representations belong to a world of notions fundamental to the victims' views of reality, but whose truth and importance they accept without argument or evidence, and so never question.

Some hoaxers intend eventually to unmask their representations as in fact a hoax so as to expose their victims as fools; seeking some form of profit, other hoaxers hope to maintain the hoax indefinitely, so that it is only when sceptical persons willing to investigate their claims publish their findings that at last they stand revealed as hoaxers.

Source: Hoax (wikipedia.org)

Alex Jones must pay $50m for Sandy Hook hoax claim

To play this video you need to enable JavaScript in your browser.US conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has been ordered to pay $49.3m (£41m) in damages after falsely claiming a 2012 school shooting was a hoax.A jury in Texas ruled the radio host must pay $45.2m in punitive damages, in addition to $4.

Zimbabwe toe-selling 'joke' misses the mark in Nigeria

An apparent social media ruse in Zimbabwe about people selling their toes for large amounts of money is being taken more seriously elsewhere in Africa. The unfounded story that suggests Zimbabweans are parting with their digits to beat poverty is trending in Nigeria.

French 17-year-old feared abducted while jogging found alive

A 17-year-old girl whose disappearance while jogging in north-west France sparked a huge police hunt has been found alive.The teenager was found in a state of shock in a takeaway about 10km (six miles) from where she had gone running.

Sandy Hook: Alex Jones loses case over 'hoax' remarks

US radio host and prominent conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has lost another legal case after falsely calling a mass school shooting a "hoax". Twenty children and six adults were shot dead at Sandy Hook elementary school in Connecticut in 2012.

Newsmax tells viewers Afghanistan war wasted $2T

For 11 full minutes (complete transcript below, and back story here), Tom Basile of NewsmaxTV allowed Andy Bichlbaum (posing as Basile's "friend" Paul Wolfowitz) to tell hundreds of thousands of Newsmax viewers that the $2.1T war in Afghanistan, begun in 2001, was a complete waste of money.

BA apologises for Bin Laden 'boarding pass' gaffe

British Airways has apologised after a photograph in a staff magazine showed a frequent flyer boarding pass in the name of Osama Bin Laden. The image appeared on the front page of LHR News and was meant to promote the benefits of online check-in.

Bin Laden and The IT Crowd: Anatomy of a Twitter hoax

Rumours circulating on Twitter that Osama Bin Laden was a fan of The IT Crowd sitcom were an elaborate new media hoax. Here comedian Graham Linehan explains how he organised the ruse.

T. rex auction cancelled after skeleton doubts raised

Image source, EPABBC NewsA T. rex skeleton which was expected to fetch up to $25m (£21m) at auction has been withdrawn after doubts were raised over where parts of it had come from.

Jobfished: the con that tricked dozens into working for a fake design agency

The Zoom call had about 40 people on it - or that's what the people who had logged on thought. The all-staff meeting at the glamorous design agency had been called to welcome the growing company's newest recruits.

Indian police 'foil man's attempt to fake death'

Indian police say they have foiled a plot by a man who tried to fake his own death to avoid being returned to jail. Officers in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh say Sudesh Kumar, 36, murdered a man and tried to pass the body off as his own with the aid of his wife.

Was famed Samson and Delilah really painted by Rubens? No, says AI

The National Gallery has always given pride of place to Peter Paul Rubens’s Samson and Delilah, listing it among the “highlights” of its collection, since it purchased the picture at Christie’s in 1980 for a then record price.

Deepfakes porn has serious consequences

In recent weeks there has been an explosion in what has become known as deepfakes: pornographic videos manipulated so that the original actress's face is replaced with somebody else's.


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