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The hoax actually dates back to the early 1980s when urban myths were shared not by the internet but by word of mouth. The earliest version warned of bikie gangs requiring new members to use the ruse to make their first kill.
This set off my suspicious journo alarm, but also triggered my natural curiosity. A little research revealed the link would have taken me to a page where I would be asked to subscribe to bogus surveys. There was, of course, no video.
Recently I saw a post on my own Facebook wall offering to show me leaked footage of the crash of Malaysian Airlines flight MH 370.
Over the decades the rumour made several comebacks until it again grew wings with the arrival of the internet.
Another claimed that merely opening a certain email would automatically trigger a US nuclear attack on Russia Nike Dunk Undftd
While many online hoaxes are little more than annoyances there are many that present a real risk to computer users. Any unexpected email or social media post that encourages readers to click on a web link or open an attachment needs to be viewed with caution.
April Fools Day inevitably spawns a flood of new hoaxes that began as pranks but then spread after somebody misses the joke and posts it as an online warning. This year we heard of a new virus that supposedly spreads from person to person via power lines (false), and of a new computer virus called that affects a person brain function and deletes their social life (false, although not entirely).
veracity of suspicious sounding tales from Facebook and email.
remember the internet era version of the old adage: If it looks too good, too bad, too exciting or too sad to be true, it probably is. McLennan is Bay FM news director.
but danger remains
things is not just in identifying hoaxes, but also in being alert to messages that may be true.
Food hoaxes seem to be particularly popular at the moment. Last week we debunked a post that claimed the HIV virus is being spread through tins of pineapple imported from Thailand. In fact, it is all but impossible to contract HIV from food products.
(go on, have a guess).
The initiation headlights story is one of the more recent hoaxes to cross the desk of the BayFM Morning Crew Hoaxbusters segment, in which we test the Nike Women's Zoom Hyperfuse Basketball Shoes
Or maybe we just need to
Another claimed people could get cancer by eating instant noodles (false); Foamposite Vachetta Tan another told of a diner at a popular restaurant chain who almost choked on a dog microchip in his burger (false); yet another claimed tests on burgers from a different chain revealed they contained the flesh of kidnapped children (um, false, in case you hadn worked that one out for yourself).
The trick with these Foamposite One Royal 20th Anniversary
The other car will not pull a dramatic U turn, chase you down and run you off the road; a bunch of bloodthirsty gang members will not pile out and a young wannabe thug will not beat you to death as part of some bizarre initiation ceremony.
Perhaps it time for an awareness campaign in the vein of those Off 5 commercials.
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Phone: (239) 542-WOOF
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