Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Hoax Web Sites

Hoax Web Sites

"Hoax:  an act that is meant to trick or deceive people" - Merriam-Webster dictionary

The web is a wild and wooly place. Anyone can have a web page, so inevitably some hoax sites are going to show up. Some hoax sites are funny, some are clever, some are devious (in September, a site said the new operating system on Apple iPhones made them waterproof and several people ruined their new phones trying it out), and some are downright bad ( is, in fact, run by white supremacists).

We are going to feature a few of the funny and clever sites.

Framely Examiner - A lousy small-town newspaper (in this case, from England).

Dihydrogen Monoxide - Scary warnings on the dangers of this chemical compound that can kill in multiple ways. Lots of fakey science masks the fact this is water (H2O).

Boilerplate - The history of a nonexistent mechanical man from the 19th and early 20th century. Really well done.

Boilerplater as a World War I soldier.

Havidol - A medication to treat Dysphoric Social Attention Consumption Deficit Anxiety Disorder (DSACDAD). For those who must have it all.

Manhattan Airport - Outlines in very believable fashion a plan to turn New York City's Central Park into an airport.

These are harmless jokes, but there are plenty of sites that are incorrect or even dangerous. Learning to critically evaluate information is a valuable skill. The ACC Library Guide Finding and Evaluating Web Sites has some tips to help.

There are hundred of hoax sites. If you want to see more, there are good lists at Phil Bradley's Website or Snopes, which is useful for finding if some recent online item is true or not. Hoax sites come and go quickly, so don't be surprised if some links no longer work.