Top social media hoaxesAs PT Barnum said, there’s a sucker bornevery minute. Except he didn’t actually saythat; a rival ci...
Celebrity deathsYou’re not a somebody until you’vebeen “killed” on social media. AMorgan Freeman fake tribute pageon Faceb...
Hurricane Sandy pictures         When Hurricane Sandy raced its way up         one of the most populous regions of the    ...
Justin Bieber’s cancer scareWould you go bald for Bieber? Theperson behind this hoax may havebeen hoping thousands ofBieli...
The Back to the Future hoax             This one has actually popped up a             few times.             In 1985’s Bac...
The BlackBerry roadmapIt was a poorly executed April Fool’sprank, but one that spread like wildfireand suckered in many me...
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Top social media hoaxes

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As PT Barnum said, there’s a sucker born every minute.

Except he didn’t actually say that; a rival circus promoter named Dan Hannum did. Or maybe he didn’t; the historical record is unclear. It is, though, an early example of a hoax, and a fitting quote to kick off our look at the top social media hoaxes.

These hoaxes seem to spread like wildfire in the social media age. Did you fall for them?

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Transcript of "Top social media hoaxes"

  1. 1. Top social media hoaxesAs PT Barnum said, there’s a sucker bornevery minute. Except he didn’t actually saythat; a rival circus promoter named DanHannum did. Or maybe he didn’t; thehistorical record is unclear.It is, though, an early example of a hoax,and a fitting quote to kick off our look atthe top social media hoaxes.These hoaxes seem to spread like wildfirein the social media age. Did you fall forthem? By Jeff Jedras
  2. 2. Celebrity deathsYou’re not a somebody until you’vebeen “killed” on social media. AMorgan Freeman fake tribute pageon Facebook generated one million“likes” last summer – we’re sure theShawshank Redemption starappreciates the love.And in Canada in 2010, an erroneouswire bulletin on the death of singerGordon Lightfoot, posted to Twitterby then CanWest reporter DavidAkin, quickly went viral. Turns outthe report was false, with thesinger’s manager confirming he’s stillalive and well.
  3. 3. Hurricane Sandy pictures When Hurricane Sandy raced its way up one of the most populous regions of the world, it brought a trail of destruction. And a few social media hoaxes. One that quickly went viral was a Photoshopped image of a doomsday-looking storm bearing down on the Statue of Liberty. It was actually a composite of a photo of another storm and the New York harbour. The Sandy fakes quickly became more obvious, from the sharks on Staten Island streets to the Ghostbusters marshmallow monster terrorizing New Yorkers.
  4. 4. Justin Bieber’s cancer scareWould you go bald for Bieber? Theperson behind this hoax may havebeen hoping thousands ofBieliebers would. And some did.Canadian singer Justin Bieber has amassive social media following,and, after false reports that he hadcancer, the #BaldforBieber hash tagon Twitter quickly went viral.To the relief of thousands ofteenaged girls, the singer – and hisfamous hair – is just fine.
  5. 5. The Back to the Future hoax This one has actually popped up a few times. In 1985’s Back to the Future, scientist Doc Brown programs his Delorean time machine to a random future date. A Photoshopped image, changing the “future” date to today, quickly went viral in June of 2012. Except that wasn’t the actual random future date, which is October 21, 2015. Hopefully, by that time, people will still get the reference.
  6. 6. The BlackBerry roadmapIt was a poorly executed April Fool’sprank, but one that spread like wildfireand suckered in many media and blogs.Two days before April 1st, an obscureTwitter account, @BB10Leaks, postedimages of a supposed BlackBerryroadmap. The tweets are found by a techblog, and quickly spread from there tothe world’s technology media.When traced back to the Twitter, though,it’s quickly exposed as a hoax, as asubsequent Tweet showed. Some of thereports still remain online.

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