It’s amazing that anyone fell for these stupid hoaxes last year. #9 was so obvious. How did news sites get so easily tricked?
In the internet age hoaxes have become easier to concoct and perpetuate. It’s understandable than an elaborate hoax could hoodwink us, but these eleven shouldn’t have gotten as far as they did.
In November the Rumblr app was announced. Effectively working like Tinder, Rumblr would allow users to arrange fist fights with each other. The story was picked up by news sites but quickly proven as a hoax, having been exposed in the same month.
Pay for Privacy
Facebook hoaxes never really die, and this one is no exception. This one resurfaces every so often: Facebook will soon be charging users a subscription fee to maintain privacy settings. But the hoax claimed copy-pasting a message got you in for free, giving the hoax legs.
After the trailer for The Force Awakens was released a few pranksters decided to launch a fake protest of the film, alleging that its casting of a black man in a lead role promoted “white genocide.” This one gained a lot of traction in the media before being exposed as a hoax.
French Flag Facebook Warning
Many people changed their Facebook picture to a French flag after the Paris attacks. A copy-pasted scam claimed that ISIS had begun tracking down such users and killing them individually. No, it was never explained how they would do this and yes, it was as dumb as it sounds.
Last summer a military exercise became a far-reaching conspiracy in the US. The nuts and bolts of it: President Obama was using the exercise on US soil as a means to covertly launch martial law across the country. The exercise ended in September and the conspiracy quietly faded away.
Minions Are Nazis
Around the release of Pixar’s Minions film this photo emerged on Spanish-speaking social media alleging that the design of the Minions were based on children experimented on by Nazis. It was largely seen as a joke, but for a brief time it was passed around by English speakers as fact.