There is a burden that I have carried around for my entire life and it is time that I finally came clean. Not that I’m not human, of course I am, I still do the typical things like go to work, go out with friends, except the only difference is that I have somehow mastered a series of super-human traits, I can pass through walls, read peoples thoughts and somehow at night I wake up to find myself levitating in my sleep. The government have begun a top secret operation to exterminate my peoples existence.
Is any of the above true? Of course not but it reads as a nice piece of fiction akin to the new US sitcom The Tomorrow People. Its has still been published though and it could have very well been published with a different title (Government superhuman Scandal) with the objective to deceive. The point being made here is that anyone can publish anything on the internet and claim that it is true.
Hoaxes are not a relatively new concept, from Orson Well’s radio broadcast of ‘The war of the worlds’ to the Cottingley fairies to even more recent footage of an alien autopsy in nineties London. Daily hoaxes are more widespread and viral than ever before however with the emergence of social media and the internet. The human subconscious mind is a powerful thing, and people have transformed likes and up votes into a form of gratification. The mere pushing of a button can verify someones sense of self esteem, sense of humor and popularity. People can sometimes take things too far on their quest to likelihood however.
Hoaxes can nowadays simply just consist of reposting an image under false pretenses and a false caption. The better the photoshop skills, the more elaborate the hoax. Here are some tried and tested viral hoaxes from the previous year.
She smiled despite the cancer that she didn’t have
This image says it all really. Taking photographs and republishing them for phony purposes can lead to both embarrassing and offensive situations.
When lightning strikes sand
An image has surfaced, depicting the natural phenomenon of how lightning creates fulgurites that captures the path of lightning once it hits sands. This may be true but a fulgurite of that size would be incredibly rare and this image is in fact drift wood that has been covered with sand by flickr user Sandcastle Matt.
The japanese moon melon
Moon melon is an amazing neon blue colored Melon thats changes the flavour of everything you eat after you eat it. It is quite expensive at 200 dollars or perhaps it would be if it existed. Unfortunately the moon melon is merely a photoshopped image of a natural watermelon.
The Girl who cries Crystal tears
Hashna mohamed is an extraordinary lebanese girl who cries on average eight crystals from her eyes a day, the video even shows it. However this story has been debunked as a fraud since 1997 by the Inquirer and by Reuters. Nonetheless the video is still alive and well, circulating on the internet.
Monkey saves dog from tsunami
Among the devastation of the 2002 Phuket tsunami, a great deed of bravery occurred when a monkey saved a puppy from the overwhelming tidal wave. The same monkey has been put to a lot of work however when he has also saved the puppy from an explosion in China and a series of other natural disasters. The real image in fact originates from the photography of Dani Weiss and is of a tethered monkey merely playing with a puppy in the Hill tribe region of Thailand.
Kim Jong Un feeds uncle to 120wild dogs
Only earlier this month, horrifying and graphic details emerged about the North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un executing his uncle for treason. While this part of the story is allegedly true, other details spread across global media platforms that he had in fact killed his uncle by feeding him to 120 starving dogs. Not long after the story had been published internationally, the source was traced back to an impostor blogger impersonating another anonymous north korean blogger in China. It has been further traced back to a satirical post on Chinas version of Twitter. No doubt North Korea is a highly shady and mysterious place, whether trust should be placed in an impostor blogger is another story.
Lottery winner finds love
This hoax exhibits some simple but deceitful technical alterations. Cheezburger.com is a website that provides fake photo templates, including that of the TVN banner used in this image. The photo is in fact of swedish superstar Natacha Peyre with an awestruck fan. Looking out for the TVN banner is an instant hoax give away.
Giant squid in California
Another way to avoid online hoaxes is not to fall for satirical sites like the onion or articles about pylons attacking boys in the Waterford whispers. The Lightly braised turnip recently published an article about how a mutant squid had washed up on a beach in Santa Monica as a result of the Fukushima disaster, while a giant squid has recently washed up in spain, that image was exaggerated and photoshopped into an image of a washed up whale.
Chances are however that every once in a while, a bizarre story will turn out to be true.
This image that has surfaced on the internet claims thats the crew of Asiana flight 214 that crash landed in San Francisco last year were named as Sum Ting Wong, Wi Tu Lo, Ho Lee Fuk and Bang Ding Ow.
Despite the fact that the image looks false, television station KTVU actually did make the mistake of reporting these names as the flight crew. Details later emerged that a summer intern with the NTSB had in fact pranked the television station with the names. While the names were a hoax, the mistake was very much real.
Credit sources>> www.museumofhoaxes.com, www.hoax-slayer.com