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)

Fan outrage at Susan Meachen, the romance novelist accused of faking her death

No one saw this plot twist coming. In September 2020, a Facebook post from someone claiming to be the daughter of indie romance author Susan Meachen announced the writer had died by suicide.

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.

SCIgen - An Automatic CS Paper Generator

SCIgen is a program that generates random Computer Science research papers, including graphs, figures, and citations. It uses a hand-written context-free grammar to form all elements of the papers. Our aim here is to maximize amusement, rather than coherence.

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.

Coronavirus: Caution urged over Madagascar's 'herbal cure'

The World Health Organization (WHO) says there is no proof of a cure for Covid-19 after Madagascar's president launched a herbal coronavirus "cure". The country's national medical academy (Anamem) has also cast doubt on the efficacy of Andry Rajoelina's touted prevention and remedy.

Belgian man has been receiving pizzas he never ordered for years

A 65-year-old man in Flanders says he is “losing sleep” because he has been receiving pizzas he never ordered for nearly a decade, sometimes several times a day.

Sokal affair

The Sokal affair, also called the Sokal hoax,[1] was a demonstrative scholarly hoax performed by Alan Sokal, a physics professor at New York University and University College London. In 1996, Sokal submitted an article to Social Text, an academic journal of postmodern cultural studies.

List of scholarly publishing stings

This is a list of scholarly publishing "sting operations" such as the Sokal affair. These are nonsense papers that were accepted by an academic journal or academic conference; the list does not include cases of scientific misconduct.

47 year old television signals bouncing back to Earth

While searching deep space for extra-terrestrial signals, scientists at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico have stumbled across signals broadcast from Earth nearly half a century ago. Radio astronomer Dr.

Ghana text hoax predicting earthquake prompts panic

False rumours of an impending earthquake caused fear and panic in Ghana overnight, prompting many people to sleep outside. The rumour began on Sunday night with a text message quoting US space agency Nasa and the BBC as saying that "cosmic rays" were to hit the Earth.

Will the Real Chamber of Commerce Please Stand Up?

Eric Wohlschlegel confronts Hingo Sembra. Which one legitimately represents the right way for American business? Oct. 19, 11:15am, Washington, D.C. Press Club.

Whiteboard girl hoax fools thousands on net

A series of photographs, allegedly from a woman quitting her post by exposing her sexist boss, has been exposed as an elaborate hoax.The images showed a girl called Jenny holding up a whiteboard message to her former boss Spencer saying his "breath smells" and had demotivated staff.

Viewers fooled by 'Belgium split'

Belgians reacted with widespread alarm to news that their country had been split in two - before finding out they had been spoofed. The Belgian public television station RTBF ran a bogus report saying the Dutch-speaking half of the nation had declared independence.

The greatest literary hoax ever?

La Rive Gauche rigole. Bernard-Henri Levy, France's loudest voice of the 1970s school of nouveaux philosophes, who rarely appears on TV with his shirt buttoned beyond the waist, has been had.

Space cadets taken in by TV hoax

Three contestants have spoken of their disbelief after being fooled into thinking they went into space for the UK reality show Space Cadets. The three believed they had blasted off from a cosmonaut training camp in Russia, but were in fact in a fake spaceship in a warehouse in Suffolk.

Search on for Moon landing film

The footage of the Apollo 11 crew's landing on the Moon is one of 20th Century's most important artefacts. The tapes are believed to be stored somewhere in the archive at Nasa's Goddard Space Flight Center, Maryland.

Probe into Boston ad stunt chaos

Police in the US city of Boston are investigating a major American media corporation for causing a security alert that closed bridges and roads. Turner Broadcasting System placed electronic devices with blinking lights around the city as part of a campaign to market a late-night TV cartoon.

Prank fools US science conference

A collection of computer-generated gibberish in the form of an academic paper has been accepted at a scientific conference, to the delight of hoaxers. Three US boffins built a programme designed to create research papers with random text, charts and diagrams.

Piltdown Man: A hoaxer still pursued

It was a shocker, no doubt about it. The Piltdown Man scandal is arguably the greatest scientific fraud ever perpetrated in the UK. When the fake remains of our earliest ancestor were unmasked for what they really were, shame was heaped on the research establishment.

Peer reveals 'cello scrotum' hoax

A top doctor has admitted her part in hoodwinking a leading medical journal after inventing a medical condition called "cello scrotum". Elaine Murphy - now Baroness Murphy - dreamt up the painful complaint in the 1970s, sending a report to the British Medical Journal.

Museum of Hoaxes

Were teenagers in the 1960s injecting themselves with peanut butter and mayonnaise as a way to get high? On a recent visit to Sitka, Alaska, I had a chance to pay my respects at the grave of Porky Bickar, the prankster responsible for one of the greatest April Fool's Day hoaxes of all time.

Man admits posting airport bomb hoax on Twitter

A man has been warned he could face jail after admitting posting a message on Twitter threatening to blow an airport "sky high".Paul Chambers posted the message online after snow forced Robin Hood Airport in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, to close.

Lost Moon-landing tape found

The impetus to locate the tape came from Kipp Teague, who runs an online resource of data on the Apollo Moon landings. 'Bad tape' It was found in the audio library at Nasa's space centre in Houston. The recording had been labelled "bad tape" because it was in a very poor condition.

Fat Pussy - Porn video

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Internet Explorer story was bogus

A story which suggested that users of Internet Explorer have a lower IQ than people who chose other browsers appears to have been an elaborate hoax.A number of media organisations, including the BBC, reported on the research, put out by Canadian firm ApTiquant.

Great Moon Hoax

The "Great Moon Hoax" refers to a series of six articles that were published in The Sun, a New York newspaper, beginning on August 25, 1835, about the supposed discovery of life and even civilization on the Moon.

Google April Fools' Day 2009

Like last year, many Google services and local sites created their own hoaxes for the April Fools' Day. The most significant announcement is that Google has a new boss: CADIE (Cognitive Autoheuristic Distributed-Intelligence Entity), the first artificial intelligence tasked-array system.

Golden eagle snatching Canadian boy video is hoax - clipmakers

A video of a golden eagle snatching a child in Canada that has gone viral online was an elaborate hoax aimed at testing the skills of the clipmakers.The video shows the bird briefly lifting the child in a Montreal park before dropping him unharmed.

Fairy fool sparks huge response

Photographs of a mummified fairy supposedly found in Derbyshire have been revealed as an April Fool's prank. Former Derbyshire resident Dan Baines, 31, who designs illusions for magicians, made the fairy as a prank.

Doubts over Latvia 'meteor crash'

Scientists investigating a large crater in a field in northern Latvia, believed to have been caused by a meteorite, now suspect it was a hoax. Fire crews were called to the scene on Sunday outside the town of Mazsalaca by locals who said something had fallen from the sky and set the land on fire.

Death by Twitter: Top three online celebrity hoaxes

Speeding down the slopes, a high-speed collision with a tree ends the life of comedian Eddie Murphy. Kung-fu acting legend Jackie Chan collapses and dies of a heart attack. Oh, and rapper Drake also "died" last weekend.

Copenhagen spoof shames Canada on the truth about its emissions

The Yes Men - or somebody suspiciously like them have struck again and this time the victim was Canada. And who better? The Canadians have emerged as the villain of the climate change negotiations for pumping out greenhouse gas emissions with the full-on exploitation of the Alberta tar sands.

Henchminion Sends In the Tale of "The Magna Carta Essay!"

Back in 2005 I did an evil, evil thing. Discovering the proliferation of websites where student plagiarists could copy essays, I wrote a Trojan horse paper about the Magna Carta and seeded it on a few plagiarism sites. The essay is basically wrong from beginning to end.

China paper carries Onion Kim Jong-un 'heart-throb' spoof

The online version of the Chinese Communist Party's official newspaper appears to have fallen for a spoof by the US satirical website, The Onion. The People's Daily ran a 55-page photo spread of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un after he was declared The Onion's Sexiest Man Alive for 2012.

Cave art hoax hits British Museum

Fake prehistoric rock art of a caveman with a shopping trolley has been hung on the walls of the British Museum. The rock was put there by art prankster Banksy, who has previously put works in galleries in London and New York.

Artist Banksy targets Disneyland

The hooded figure was placed inside the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad ride at the California theme park last weekend. It is understood to have remained in place for 90 minutes before the ride was closed down and the figure removed.

Art prankster sprays Israeli wall

Secretive "guerrilla" artist Banksy has decorated Israel's controversial West Bank barrier with satirical images of life on the other side. The nine paintings were created on the Palestinian side of the barrier.

Moon landing conspiracy theories

Moon landing conspiracy theories claim that some or all elements of the Apollo program and the associated Moon landings were hoaxes staged by NASA, possibly with the aid of other organizations.

Alternative 3

Alternative 3 is a television programme, broadcast once only in the United Kingdom in 1977, and later broadcast in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, as a fictional hoax, an heir to Orson Welles' radio production of The War of the Worlds.

'Naked man' mural allowed to stay

A piece of graffiti by Bristol artist Banksy has been allowed to stay after what the city council described as "overwhelming support" from the public. The stencilled image shows a woman in her underwear standing behind a suited man leaning out of a window, and a naked man hanging onto the ledge.

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The story of the fake bomb detectors

The sentencing of a British couple for making fake bomb detectors marks the end of a series of trials after a global scam which saw the devices end up in conflict zones and used by governments around the world.

The Yes Men

On 30 September, 2019, a horde of zombies attended a "#natsneverdie rally" at the Cape Town Civic Centre in order to support the City's policies, which are increasingly similar to those of the National Party under Apartheid.

The Yes Men

The Yes Men are a culture jamming activist duo and network of supporters created by Jacques Servin and Igor Vamos.[1] Through various actions, the Yes Men primarily aim to raise awareness about problematic social and political issues.

The strange virtual world of 4chan

Coventry cat tormentor Mary Bale has become the latest victim of 4chan - a website credited with creating some of the web's biggest phenomena, whose users wreak havoc across cyberspace. Just what is it all about?

'Sick prank' leaves cat dyed pink in Swindon

The RSPCA have criticised a "sick prank" in which a cat had its fur dyed pink and was then thrown over a garden fence in Swindon. Officers are looking for the owner of the cat, which was found by a man in his garden in Wesley Street on 18 September.

Prankster infiltrates NY museums

A British graffiti artist has managed to evade security and hang his work in four of New York's most prestigious and well-guarded museums. "Banksy", who has never disclosed his real identity, claims to have carried out the unusual smuggling operation on one day, during opening hours.

10 Amazing Practical Jokes

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The truth about 'medbeds' - a miracle cure that doesn't exist

Strange corners of the internet are awash with chatter about miracle devices that can cure nearly any ailment you can think of using the power of mystical energy. Some companies charge thousands for these "medbeds" - but their claims are far from proven.

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.

Phylicia Rashad Celebrates Cosby's Prison Release in Tweet

The former actress on "The Cosby Show" tweeted: "FINALLY!!!! A terrible wrong is being righted — a miscarriage of justice is corrected!" We are the internet’s go-to source for discerning what is true and what is total nonsense. Before you scroll further, a few tips on how to “snopes”:

Joan of Arc remains 'are fakes'

Bones thought to be the holy remains of 15th Century French heroine Joan of Arc were in fact made from an Egyptian mummy and a cat, research has revealed. In 1867, a jar was found in a Paris pharmacy attic, along with a label claiming it held relics of Joan's body.

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