Surviving April Fool's Day

Tomorrow is April Fool's Day, traditionally a day of amusing media hoaxes and journalistic pranks. The English press, as usual, does it better, but Jack Shafer's 2007 roundup of how not to look the fool provides some good examples of American merry-making. It's ok when the newsmedia lies to you if they're funny about it, after all. Even the internet gets involved! After the jump, a few selected web hoaxes from last year, and how to avoid getting taken in this year, you sucker.

CNET announced that Jimmy Wales would be asking 100 people to perform surgery on him. EBay linked to fake auctions of electoral votes and a mysterious concept called "happiness." Facebook littered users' news feeds with fake announcements involving the relationship statuses of fictional characters and "LivePoke," the new service in which Facebook employees would physically poke a friend of your choice. Slashdot briefly became a Digg clone. TechCrunch announced that it had acquired FuckedCompany. CollegeHumor became a spam site. Google announced that they'd print and ship you paper copies of all your email.

Your best bet tomorrow is to be skeptical of all Apple news, and beware websites that suddenly introduce redesigns or announce new features. Of course, GMail was introduced on April 1, 2004, so you never know.

List via Wikipedia