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Disadvantages Content not updated that regularly
What is a hoax? According to the Collins Gem English Dictionary it is ‘a practical joke or deceptive trick’. According to the website www.museumofhoaxes.com, it is ‘a deceptive act or scheme that plays upon the credulity of others. Great hoaxes manage to create a sense of mystery and astonishment. They force people to question their assumptions, to wonder what is real and what is not. Not so great hoaxes usually manage to be, at the very least, amusing. The worst kind of hoaxes can actually cause serious damage to people's lives and finances.’This website is dedicated to hoaxes over the years that have fooled the public, and makes fascinating, ironic, but often not funny, reading. The home page is exceptionally simple, yet effective. A white background, with nine pictures forming a square and links around them to different eras: pre-1700, 1700-1799, 1800-1849, 1850-1899, 1900-1998 and 1999-2001. At the bottom is a list of other general links, which I shall go into in more detail later, and a link to sign up for their newsletter. There is an example of the March 2002 newsletter in case you want to see if it is your sort of thing. The site also contains a search facility and a site map. Searching on George Bush brings up a number of hoax stories, but my favourite is that this wonderful president only has an IQ of 91.
I found it fascinating to see the different types of hoaxes around hundreds of years ago and now. With the event of modern communication, it has become harder to fool the public - or has it? I’ll give you an example of a hoax from 1817 and a hoax from 2001 so that you can decide.•• Princess Caraboo ••
•• Gorgeous Guy ••
29 year old Dan Bacca noticed that people were staring at him at the bus stop every morning in San Francisco, so eventually he asked why. Apparently on 11th may 2001 a picture of him had been posted at a ‘missed connections’ website from a woman trying to find out his name as she thought he was gorgeous. The on-line community was buzzing with speculation and then the media picked it up. Dan became a celebrity overnight with offers to appear on CNN and the Tonight Show. One journalist did some further digging and found that it was all a hoax. Dan Bacca had probably posted the photo himself, and he had certainly posted a lot of the messages to create the hype.
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