hoaxes

The Worst Part of the “Diane in 7A” Hoax Wasn’t the Deception

I am one of those terribly smug people who always suspected that last week’s Diane in 7A thing was fake. I should say I am usually credulous about these things. I was totally taken in by that Jimmy Kimmel twerking video, for example. But the level of detail in this guy’s tweets — I’m not using his name, let’s all forget it immediately — was a red flag in itself. I didn’t believe that 7A was an aisle seat, and I also didn’t believe anyone would answer notes passed to them on a plane by a stranger. Particularly not, I thought, hostile ones from strange men. In “Diane’s” place I would have ignored him, mostly out of reflex. My default, even after a lifetime of being known as a mouthy woman, is never to escalate. … Read More

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10 of the Most Famous Photo Hoaxes Through History

In the modern age, it’s both incredibly easy to fake photographs (everyone and their mother is a Photoshop expert these days) and relatively difficult to actually pass them off as legitimate for any length of time (no one can hide on the Internet). But it wasn’t always that way. We recently discovered the awesome website Museum of Hoaxes, and we’ve been indulging in the history of fake photographs, from the first faked photo in the 1830s to much more recent attempts. Click through to check out a few of the most famous photo hoaxes in history, and let us know if we missed your favorite (or if you’re a true believer) in the… Read More

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A Guide to Pop Culture’s Biggest Hoaxes

This week, 177 years ago, a series of articles were published in the New York Sun that reported on the discovery of life on the Moon, attributed to well-know astronomer Sir John Herschel. Stories about unicorns, strange humanoids, and entire civilizations described a strange, new world — and newspaper sales skyrocketed. What was intended as a satire — believed to be crafted by a Cambridge-educated reporter — became one of the earliest hoaxes in history, the truth not revealed until weeks later. Since then, and thanks to that lovely invention called the Internet, we’ve become far more jaded and skeptical when it comes to outlandish claims in media. Still, there have been many elaborate hoaxes over time that duped us for fun, profit, and sometimes accidentally. We shared several of pop culture’s biggest hoaxes past the break. … Read More

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Teen Werewolves and 5 Other Fake Youth Trends the Media Loves

They sport leashes and tails. They travel in “packs.” Their natural habitat is the mall. And one of them killed a dog and kept its skull once. That’s right, excitable suburbans: Werewolf kids walk among us! At least, according to KENS5 news in San Antonio, they’re currently poised to take over Texas.

Now, to us old people in our 20s, they look almost exactly like emo kids and/or the goths that came before them, albeit with some lupine contact lenses and fake fangs. And besides the funny outfits, they don’t seem to be doing anything particularly scandalous. (In fact, even they will confess that much.) So we’re not sure what the fuss is. But the media loves a good “youth in revolt” trend piece, and that’s what they’re giving us. While we struggle with whether this is a hoax or a real phenomenon and, if the latter, whether there’s any reason to care about it, watch the unintentionally hilarious werewolf-kids news report after the jump and follow along as we review some of the media’s favorite fake youth trends of all time. … Read More

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