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Hoaxes / Pranks
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MythopoeikaOffline
I am a meat popsicle
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PostPosted: 23-03-2012 20:55    Post subject: Reply with quote

It was an 'art project', apparently:

http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2012/03/22/dutch-artist-admits-faking-viral-human-bird-wings-video/
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rynner2Offline
What a Cad!
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PostPosted: 23-03-2012 22:12    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mythopoeika wrote:
It was an 'art project', apparently:

http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2012/03/22/dutch-artist-admits-faking-viral-human-bird-wings-video/

Thanks for finding that!

Rynner posted:
Quote:
[video (rather blurry)]

Quote:
Ryan Martin, Technical Director at Industrial Light & Magic, and his colleagues told the techblog Gizmodo that the video's poor focus covers up most evidence of CGI

I'm glad I called that one right. Cool

But it would be nice to fly like that... [sigh]
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rynner2Offline
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PostPosted: 02-06-2012 07:42    Post subject: Reply with quote

The cruellest of internet hoaxes

Attention seeking on the internet takes many forms, but the people who hoax online forums with tales of sick children are among the most painful, writes Jolyon Jenkins.

Little Charly Johns was a trouper.
She was only six years old and had cancer - but she fought it with determination. She was in and out of hospital as the disease advanced and retreated.

It was tough too for her mother Anna. She joined the Macmillan online cancer forum.
There she found support and help from people who knew exactly what she was going through.
For two years, Anna kept them updated on Charly's progress.

"On the whole she is doing great," she wrote. "She is happy, lively, giggly and very easily excitable. She is always the first to laugh at anything and the last to stop. Nobody could look at Charly now and have any idea of the things she has endured these past 14 months."

But in November last year, Charly lost her fight for life. On the Macmillan forum there was an outpouring of grief. People wrote poems in Charly's memory. They painted their fingernails pink in accordance with her last wishes - even men.

But it was all a lie. Charly did not exist. Neither did Anna.

The whole thing was a hoax, discovered when the church in Paris where Charly's funeral was to be held turned out to have no record of her.

The perpetrator, it transpired, was a teenage girl. The pictures of "Charly" were the girl herself when younger.
Many on the Macmillan forum refused to believe it. They had formed close online relationships with Anna. It seemed impossible that a teenager could have had such emotional maturity. Others left the forum in despair.

"These are some very desperate people," says Jackie Marshall, a member of the Macmillan forum. "People who may not have long to live, who are sharing burdens with complete strangers, because they are not comfortable sharing with families. The forum provides a lifeline."

It wasn't the first time Macmillan has been hoaxed, and Macmillan isn't the only forum to have been affected by impostors.
An American psychiatrist, Marc Feldman, has described it as "Munchausen by internet", similar to the well-known Munchausen syndrome, in which people fabricate illnesses to gain attention and sympathy.
It's no exaggeration to say there's an epidemic of MBI, and one which destroys the trust that underpins the forums.

etc...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-18282277
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escargot1Offline
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PostPosted: 02-06-2012 08:00    Post subject: Reply with quote

I seem to remember that we've had a couple of those on here over the years.
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Black River FallsOffline
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PostPosted: 02-06-2012 08:11    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have we! Shocked
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escargot1Offline
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PostPosted: 04-06-2012 10:26    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a BBC R4 programme about 'Munchausen's By Internet' -

Desperately Seeking Sympathy

Quote:
Why would a perfectly healthy person pretend they had cancer? Or pretend that were pregnant with a foetus that could not survive long after birth? Munchausen's disorder has been known about for years but it's spread to the internet. People are constructing elaborate false identities, faking medical misfortunes and then posting online support forums. Few forums have escaped the imposters in what has become an epidemic of fakery.

In this programme Jolyon Jenkins speaks to those who have fallen victims of this kind of deception, as well as tracking down those who have perpetrated it. He learns how people who have genuinely suffered from medical misfortunes go online to offer help to other sufferers, only to find themselves taken for a ride by fakers. For some, learning that they have been getting into a deep and personal relationship with someone who turns out to be an emotional fraudster, is traumatic. Entire online communities sometimes feel devastated to learn that they have been harbouring an imposter.

The deception is often highly elaborate. "Munchausens by Internet" sufferers often invent multiple online personalities (known as "sock puppets"): to support each other husbands, boyfriends, relatives and friends who pop up to validate the main character. In one case, the Macmillan cancer forum was hoaxed by a teenage girl who posed as the mother of a young girl, "Charly", with terminal cancer. Members of the forum were gripped for months as the Charly's fortunes rose and fell. Eventually she lost her brave fight against cancer; forum members painted their nails pink in tribute to Charly's alleged last wishes and others wrote poetry in her memory. When it turned out that Charly was completely fictional, Macmillan forum members, many of whom had cancer themselves, were stunned. Some still refused to believe they had been corresponding with a teenager.

Imposters are not always detected but when they are they usually disappear without a word. Sometimes they reappear later under different names, but tracking down the real person behind the fake is virtually impossible. Why do they do it? Not for money. In interviews with two sufferers, Jolyon Jenkins hears of their desperate need for attention, their feelings of inadequacy in real life, and of loveless childhoods.

Other questions are raised by the phenomenon: why are people prepared to offer 24 hour support to characters who they don't know, and whose very existence they take on trust? And given the psychological damage done by perpetrators, shouldn't forum owners take more care to check that they are not providing a home for this new kind of online fraud?
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ramonmercadoOffline
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PostPosted: 10-06-2012 19:14    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Pranksters Hijack Republican Live-Streamed Petition Drive
http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/06/printer-petition/
By David KravetsEmail Author June 7, 2012 | 7:50 pm |

Congressional Republicans on Thursday abruptly halted what was surely the most innovative internet petition drive in history, after too much of the internet discovered it.

The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) had invited voters to visit its “I Want Repeal” Tumblr to register opposition to Obama’s health care legislation — which the GOP called “Obamacare.” Visitors to the site could fill out a form with their name and an e-mail address, and watch on a live video stream as the hard copy of the filled-out petition, and everyone else’s, churned from an inkjet printer and piled up in the paper tray for delivery to the White House.

The GOP promoted the campaign heavily online with the hashtag #IWantRepeal, leading Thursday to the inevitable barrage of jokers entering made-up names for the sheer joy of seeing them spit off the printer before a live web audience.

By late Thursday afternoon, signers included Jesus Christ, Luigi Mario, Dimeball Darren, Una Bohmer, Queen Anime, HelpI’mStuckInthisPrinter, hello twitter, Piss Children, Boner Junkmonkey and Barf Vomit. A volunteer’s hand could periodically be seen darting into the frame to pull out a stack of freshly printed petitions before the tray could overflow.

Then, just after 6:30 p.m. EDT, the printer stopped and the frame froze. At press time it hasn’t come back.

Threat Level reached a spokeswoman for the committee soon after, but she said she was not immediately prepared to comment on the campaign. The name of the last legitimate signer of the petition before the printer fell still is currently trending on Twitter.

The Supreme Court is expected to rule on a challenge to President Barack Obama’s medical plan soon. According to a New York Times/CBS News poll released Thursday, more than two-thirds of Americans hope the high court will strike down the measure.

Additional reporting by Angela Watercutter.
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Ronson8Offline
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PostPosted: 10-06-2012 20:36    Post subject: Reply with quote

Political petitioners beware. Very Happy
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rynner2Offline
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PostPosted: 13-07-2012 06:33    Post subject: Reply with quote

Facebook 'likes' and adverts' value doubted
By Rory Cellan-Jones, Technology correspondent

A BBC investigation suggests companies are wasting large sums of money on adverts to gain "likes" from Facebook members who have no real interest in their products.
It also appears many account holders who click on the links have lied about their personal details.

A security expert has said some of the profiles appeared to be "fakes" run by computer programs to spread spam.
Facebook said it had "not seen evidence of a significant problem".

"Likes" are highly valued by many leading brands' marketing departments.
Once a user has clicked on a link the company it belongs to can then post content on their news feed, send them messages and alert their friends to the connection.

Facebook makes money by charging companies a fee to show adverts designed to attract new "likes".
Some companies have attracted millions of "likes".

But the BBC has been contacted by one marketing consultant who has warned clients to be wary of their value, and carried out an experiment that backed up his concerns.
The vast majority of Facebook's revenues come from advertising and its performance will be scrutinised when it releases its financial results on 26 July - the first such report since its flotation.

Earlier this year Facebook revealed that about 5-6% of its 901 million users might be fake - representing up to 54 million profiles.
Graham Cluley of the security firm Sophos said this was a major problem.
"Spammers and malware authors can mass-produce false Facebook profiles to help them spread dangerous links and spam, and trick people into befriending them," he said.
"We know some of these accounts are run by computer software with one person puppeteering thousands of profiles from a single desk handing out commands such as: 'like' as many pages as you can to create a large community.
"I'm sure Facebook is trying to shut these down but it can be difficult to distinguish fake accounts from real ones."

A spokesman for the social network said: "We don't see evidence of a 'wave of likes' coming from fake users or 'obsessive clickers'."
But Mr Cluley said it was in the firm's interest to downplay the problem.
"They're making money every time a business's advert leads to a phoney Facebook fan," he said
.

Michael Tinmouth, a social media marketing consultant, ran Facebook advertising campaigns for a number of small businesses, including a luxury goods firm and an executive coach.
At first, his clients were pleased with the results. But they became concerned after looking at who had clicked on the adverts.
While they had been targeting Facebook users around the world, all their "likes" appeared to be coming from countries such as the Philippines and Egypt.
"They were 13 to 17 years old, the profile names were highly suspicious, and when we dug deeper a number of these profiles were liking 3,000, 4,000, even 5,000 pages," he said.

Mr Tinmouth pointed out a number of profiles which had names and details that appeared to be made up.
One, going by the name Agung Pratama Sevenfoldism, showed his date of birth as 1997 and said he had been a manager at Chevron in 2010. Cool
Mr Tinmouth said this seemed "unlikely".

An experiment by the BBC appears to have confirmed this was not a one-off issue.
The BBC created a Facebook page for VirtualBagel - a made-up company with no products.
The number of "likes" it attracted from Egypt and the Philippines was out of proportion to other countries targeted such as the US and UK.
One Cairo-based fan called himself Ahmed Ronaldo and claimed to work at Real Madrid. Shocked

Mr Tinmouth asked Facebook to investigate the issue of questionable profiles after one of his clients refused to pay for his adverts on the basis they had not reached "real people".
The company told him that the majority were authentic, and refused to meet him to discuss a refund.

Facebook told the BBC that Mr Tinmouth appeared to have sent out scattergun advertising to a global audience without specifying a target group.
"We would never recommend that anyone conduct business in this way," a spokesman said.

The BBC also spoke to a social marketing executive at one of the UK's biggest companies who said he was increasingly sceptical about the value of advertising on the social network.
"Any kind of investment in Facebook advertising has brought us very little return on sales," he said.

The executive, who did not want to be named, added that his company had found it could increase engagement with customers via the social network without buying adverts.
"The fans you get from advertising may not be genuine, and if they are genuine are they people who will engage with your brand?" he asked.
"The answer, more and more, appears to be no."

Facebook played down the issue of fake profiles.
"We've not seen evidence of a significant problem," said a spokesman.
"Neither has it been raised by the many advertisers who are enjoying positive results from using Facebook.
"All of these companies have access to Facebook's analytics which allow them to see the identities of people who have liked their pages, yet this has not been flagged as an issue.

"A very small percentage of users do open accounts using pseudonyms but this is against our rules and we use automated systems as well as user reports to help us detect them."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-18813237
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Ronson8Offline
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PostPosted: 13-07-2012 08:36    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I'm glad I didn't buy shares. hmm
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JamesWhiteheadOffline
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PostPosted: 13-07-2012 12:11    Post subject: Reply with quote

Advertising on the web must create more sheer hatred for companies than almost any other form of junk. The currency of the click is quite ridiculous but the system must cause some punters to part with real investment-cash for arsehole sites that do nothing but distract your searches with webpages generated on the fly from your search-strings. Ads which cause pages to load slowly and revolting pop-ups that reveal skanky creatures copulating underneath your windows . . .

If I wanted to see that, I'd open the curtains . . . Shocked
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JamesWhiteheadOffline
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PostPosted: 26-07-2012 13:23    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Emmanuel Domenech was a Catholic priest who spent many years traveling through Mexico and the American Southwest before returning to France in the 1850s. Because of his experience with Native American culture, a librarian at the Bibliotheque de l'Arsenal in Paris brought to his attention, in the hope he could make sense of it, a curious document that had been filed away in a box there for over a century. The book consisted of hundreds of pages of strange, crudely drawn figures, resembling stick figures, many of them appearing to be urinating, copulating, whipping each other, and displaying enormously swollen genitals . . . "


Well I suppose a priest was the natural chap to call! Shocked

I don't suppose it's suitable for work. Depends what your work is, I suppose . . .

From the Museum of Hoaxes
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gncxxOffline
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PostPosted: 26-07-2012 15:19    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not sure I want to click on the link, but what made it a hoax?
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JamesWhiteheadOffline
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PostPosted: 26-07-2012 17:06    Post subject: Reply with quote

The heiroglyphic figures were decoded as German words, such as Würst - it's not very shocking - just a lot of priapic stick-men.

I'm not sure I understood the decoding. Perhaps you chop the figures in half as they seem to be mirror-forms? A sort of smutty Voynich Minor piece of mystification.

I bet the librarian did it himself . . . Cool
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gncxxOffline
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PostPosted: 27-07-2012 16:57    Post subject: Reply with quote

I plucked up the courage to click the link, and I'm glad I did, thanks. The story's not much more than a step up from drastically misidentifying rude graffiti, is it? I admire the priest's dedication to his theory, I can't see the words either (but I can't speak German, so...)
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