The internet loves bullshit. While many of its denizens will brag of their skepticism, claim thousands of readers make the best fact-checkers, and say the web holds the mainstream media accountable, the fact remains that made-up bullshit still drives huge traffic, if it's marketed right. Hence, "13-year-old Steals Dad's Credit Car to Buy Hookers," a realistic-looking "news story" posted on some financial site no one had ever heard of before called monkey.co.uk. The fact that there were no sources other than this dodgy domain didn't stop the story from making the front page of Digg and Fark and racking up probably hundreds of thousands of views. Then "real" news sites began picking it up. It made the UK Sun's print edition. This tale was invented by an online marketer to boost a client's SEO ranking. And no one on Digg or anywhere else BUSTED the hoax. Nor do they bother to debunk any of the rest of the snappily headlined bullshit that makes the rounds every day. Four more examples, below.
- 2. Rememberthe twins who accidentally married each other! A classic bullshit story that probably garnered CNN millions of views.
- 3. The man regrowing his own finger story! It involved pixie dust and still everyone who linked bought it.
- 4. Aliza Shvarts violating human biology by impregnating herself a million times and then inducing abortions with magic herbal remedies. Not even the abortion pill, but herbs. Honestly.
- 5. Jenkem.
Most of these stories were eventually revealed as frauds, but usually not until days later—always well after everyone had forwarded them to everyone they knew. And this shit happens every day. Especially with almost any story involving nude people doing something outrageous, especially in far away places. (That one's on Fark!)
So. If you see egregious bullshit linked to on some high-traffic message board or blog, let us know, and we will publicly shame everyone involved.