Filed under: Practical Jokes and Mischief, Satire
When people up north get creative…
When people up north get creative…
Fake news sites are using Facebook to spread Ebola panic
by Josh Dzieza
October 22, 2014
They call themselves satire sites, but they’re really spreading scary rumors for profit
There’s a scary story bouncing around Facebook, accruing hundreds of thousands of likes: the small town of Purdon, Texas, has been quarantined after a family of five was diagnosed with Ebola. The story is a total hoax, put out by a deeply cynical site called the National Report. But to the 340,000 people who saw it pop up in their news feed, it looked real enough to share.
“We’ve seen stories on satire sites — fake news sites — getting tremendous traction because they feed on people’s fears,” says Craig Silverman, the founder of Emergent.Info. “It’s really becoming an epidemic now.” Silverman launched Emergent with Columbia’s Tow Center for Digital Journalism last month to track the spread of rumors online in real time. Many of the stories he’s seen have been organic rumors, things like the pumpkin spice condom or the 50-foot crab that begin life as jokes, get taken out of context, are written up in news stories, and take off on Facebook before anyone bothers to verify them. But he’s finding that a surprising number, especially when it comes to Ebola, are deliberate attempts to deceive. “I’ve had people emailing me about the Purdon story, very scared, asking if it was true,” says Silverman.
Banksy arrest hoax: Internet duped by fake online report claiming artist’s identity has been revealed
by Ella Alexander
20 October 2014
Banksy has not been arrested, despite a report stating the contrary.
“The Banksy arrest is a hoax,” the street artist’s publicist, Jo Brooks, told The Independent.
However, the prank seems to have duped the internet, with his name quickly trending on Twitter.
A false story, published on US website National Report, alleged that the identity of the British street artist had finally been revealed and he had been arrested by London’s Metropolitan Police and is being held “without bail on charges of vandalism, conspiracy, racketeering and counterfeiting”.
The story claimed that Banksy’s London art studio had been raided, where “thousands of dollars of counterfeit money along with future projects of vandalism” were found, along with ID thought to belong to the famed anonymous street artist, which allegedly identified him as Liverpool-born Paul Homer.
However, a quick Google search shows that the quotes were originally published in 2013 on hoax website on PRLog. Read the rest of the story here.
UPDATE: A more indepth look, via Emerson Damerson, at “swatting” in the online gaming sphere — The dark side of livestreaming entertainment, by Richard Lewis, The Kernel, October 12th, 2014.
Live Stream Captures SWAT Team Charging Into Gamer’s Office
by Cate Matthews
The Huffington Post
August 28, 2014
When YouTuber Jordan Mathewson began his live stream Wednesday, playing a first person-shooter video game, he wasn’t expecting to end his session on the floor with real guns trained on him.
Mathewson and the rest of his gaming collective apparently fell victim to a prank known as “swatting,” where hoaxers force an armed police response by calling in a false report on rival gamers.
Mathewson was about two hours into a game of “Counter-Strike” at the collective’s office in Littleton, Colorado, when he heard a commotion outside his door. A SWAT team was searching the place, and they were about to charge into his office. As seen in the video, he quickly picked up on what was happening. (more…)
From Mark Borkowski:
How to become internet famous for $68
by Kevin Ashton
The secret of online celebrity Santiago Swallow.
Santiago Swallow may be one of the most famous people no one has heard of.
His eyes fume from his Twitter profile: he is Hollywood-handsome with high cheekbones and dirty blond, collar-length hair. Next to his name is one of social media’s most prized possessions, Twitter’s blue “verified account” checkmark. Beneath it are numbers to make many in the online world jealous: Santiago Swallow has tens of thousands of followers. The tweets Swallow sends them are cryptic nuggets of wisdom that unroll like scrolls from digital fortune cookies: “Before you lose weight, find hope,” says one. Another: “To write is to live endlessly.”
Dutch Girl Fakes a Trip to South East Asia
by Will Jones
September 9, 2014
Fakebooking taken to a new level on this ‘gap year’ in South East Asia
If you’ve ever spent a rainy evening thumbing through your Facebook newsfeed glaring with scarcely controllable envy at the seemingly endless torrent of pictures posted by unbearably smug friends who are backpacking through some country with scenes so vibrant you wonder if the saturation setting on your screen is faulty, relax.
It could all be a backpack of lies.
For five weeks Dutch student Zilla van den Born subjected her Facebook friends to the above, claiming to be travelling around South East Asia, when in reality she had never left her home city of Amsterdam. She went to extraordinary lengths to perpetuate the illusion, which was fed to her friends and family alike. The only person who knew the truth was her boyfriend.
During her 42 day ‘break’ she did all the things you would expect of someone in her position.
Messages Supporting Hong Kong Protesters Stream from Web to the Streets
by Adario Strange
September 30, 2014
Messages supporting Occupy Central sent in to a Hong Kong art collective’s website are turned into a stream real-time, projected graffiti. Read the full article here.
image: Add Oil Machine for OCLP
From CNN, October 5, 2014:
Doctor Gilbert Mobley wore a hazmat suit and strolled through the world’s busiest airport to make a point about Ebola.
Watch the video – Doctor: The CDC is lying about Ebola
Hoax instructional: How to deceive, deflect and scam the scandal hungry media and the all-believing public. Why? Just because.
The Emma Watson Naked Photo Countdown Was The Work Of Serial Internet Hoaxers
by James Cook
September 24, 2014
A mysterious countdown website emerged on Monday that hinted at the imminent reveal of naked photographs of the actress Emma Watson, stolen using the same iCloud vulnerability that hackers used to steal photographs of stars like Kate Upton and Jennifer Lawrence.
As Business Insider reported on Monday, it’s highly unlikely that anyone has naked photographs of Emma Watson (we probably would have seen them by now, because she’s a top target for iCloud hackers). Instead the site seemed like an obvious prank designed to discredit 4chan users.
Sure enough, when the countdown came to an end, the site redirected to the website of a company named Rantic Marketing, which appears to be a viral marketing agency. But here’s where this gets really interesting: Rantic Marketing doesn’t exist. This wasn’t a marketing stunt at all, but a social experiment run by the most notorious gang of pranksters on the internet.
Flood Wall Street Protesters Assemble In New York
by Katherine Boehrer
The Huffington Post
September 22, 2014
A day after the People’s Climate March filled the streets of New York, a smaller group of protesters are engaging in non-violent, direct action against climate change. By conducting a sit-in on the steps of the New York Stock Exchange and blocking lower Broadway, organizers say they are confronting “the system that both causes and profits from the crisis that is threatening humanity.”
The protest does not have a permit, and some participants have pledged to risk arrest during the sit-in.
Pictures from the group’s assembly at Battery Park, the march to Wall Street and a blockade of Broadway are already appearing on social media. Follow #FloodWallStreet on Twitter and Instagram for more live updates. Watch a live-stream from StopMotionsolo.
UPDATE — 4:15 p.m.: At least one protestor has been arrested according to Newsweek’s Zoe Schlanger and there are reports that pepper spray has been used by the NYPD. Protesters had moved to the blocked entrance to Wall Street, attempting to remove barriers and get past police.
Ivory Tower Phony? Sex, Lies and Fraud Alleged in W. Va. University Case
by Nona Willis Aronowitz and Tony Dokoupil
He seemed like the Doogie Howser of India, able to crack the country’s best medical school, and work there as a 21-year-old doctor. Anoop Shankar later claimed to add a Ph.D. in epidemiology and treat patients even as he researched population-wide diseases. He won a “genius” visa to America, shared millions in grants, and boasted of membership in the prestigious Royal College of Physicians.
In 2012 West Virginia University hand-picked this international star to help heal one of the country’s sickest states. At just 37, Shankar was nominated to the first endowed position in a new School of Public Health, backed by a million dollars in public funds. As chair of the epidemiology department, he was also poised to help the university spend tens of millions of additional tax dollars. “This is about improving healthcare and improving lives,” said university president Jim Clements, announcing a federal grant for health sciences. “We could not be more proud.”
But there was a problem: Shankar isn’t a Ph.D. He didn’t graduate from the Harvard of India. He didn’t write dozens of the scholarly publications on his resume, and as for the Royal College of Physicians, they’ve never heard of him. He does have a master’s degree in epidemiology from the University of North Carolina and an Indian medical degree, but at least two of his green card references—attesting to “world class creativity,” “genius insight,” and “a new avenue for treating hypertension”—were a forgery.