Filed under: Practical Jokes and Mischief
Here’s a brief look at how the typical hoax-news-story sausage is made, from Emerson Dameron:
As an aspiring humor writer, I always keep one eye open for new sites that might be interested in running my stuff. A few years ago – neatly coinciding with the explosion of Twitter, reddit, Facebook, and other mass social-sharing sites – I began to notice more and more sites soliciting “satirical” news stories that were just slightly off. Not funny like The Onion, but close enough to the news to be somewhat believable yet false enough to make the people who spread them look like idiots.
When these sites get scads of clicks from a “hoax” story, they can have it both ways. They’ve significantly widened their audience, but can still explain that they were clearly just joshing.
That’s worth keeping very much in mind.
Popular map suggesting ‘record-shattering snowfall’ is a hoax
by Scott Dance
The Baltimore Sun
September 9, 2014
A winter forecast map that is going viral and suggests above-normal snowfall for most of the country – and “well above-normal” snow for the mid-Atlantic and New England – comes from a satire website.
The story has been shared widely across social media, carrying the headline “Meteorologists Predict Record-Shattering Snowfall Coming Soon.” The accompanying map forecasts an unusually snowy winter for about two-thirds of the country, and a corridor of even heavier snow from Virginia to Maine. Read more…