Social media is an amazing tool that allows people to connect on a more personal level than just a phone call. With a phone call you hear the person, but with social media, you can really pretend to be an actual part of someone’s life. However, there is a darker part of social media, that doesn’t often get brought into the light.
It turns out that a great deal of the things you see online on social media platforms aren’t always what they appear to be. In fact, for some of these shocking posts, people spent their whole day prepping and primping for the perfect picture. Some of these people admit that they took a hundred different photos, or made someone else do it until they got the one you see posted to their account. That means that the picture you admired for whatever reason was staged, meaning it’s not real, otherwise known as fake.
The rest of the people, companies, or sites featured in this piece either created fictitious news, helped spread this infectious disease (still talking about fake news), or some say these people don’t respond or do anything to stop the chaos created by these fake stories. Since any viral news spreads like wildfire throughout the various social media platforms, fake news gets distributed amongst entire cities in a matter of minutes and across the world in just a few hours. Regardless of what you see, read, or hear in the online world, just remember that it may be fake news.
15. Louise Delage’s Instagram Account
If you are following the Instagram account of Louise Delage, just know that the person you think you know isn’t a real person at all. The woman who poses as this “Louise Delage” is actually an actress hired by an agency in Paris called BETC. They created a public service campaign called “Like My Addiction” which showcases the realities of alcoholism and the social pressures to drink. The whole point of the campaign was to show people that they were missing the addiction in the pictures because of how “normalized” social drinking is. They created a fake account and posted three pictures per day, every day, for two months. The catch was that the beautiful Louise Delage would always be pictured with an alcoholic beverage in hand. In every. Single. Picture. There were 149 posts with a combined total of nearly 50,000 like before BETC came forward with the big reveal via video.
14. The Fake Sports Journalist
For those sports fans out there, you might recognize the name of the fake sports journalist Samuel Rhodes. This 16-year-old kid pretended to be a journalist from The Times and The Daily Telegraph. His actual name is Samuel Gardiner and he isn’t a reporter of anything other than a bunch of fake news. Before both publishers understood what was going on, there were tens of thousands of people following Samuel’s Twitter account, feeding into the fake stories. There were even numerous tweets retweeted by real sports websites. Since his discovery, he hasn’t been able to claim the life of a journalist, he couldn’t even claim the picture he was calling his own. It was just a stock photo of a businessman. We now hear that he’s busy recruiting new sales team members for a jewelry company. Oh, how the great have fallen.
13. Microwaving Your iPhone
We remember this fake news going around the Internet, and we were surprised that people were actually microwaving their iPhones trying to charge their phone faster. If your friend jumped off a bridge and told you to jump, would you jump? If not, then why would you microwave your smartphone, especially when the advice comes from a complete stranger? People never cease to amaze us. Some funny people using the 4chan social media site created and released the fake Apple press release you see pictured here. The press release claims that a user’s iPhone could be fully charged at a fraction of the time by placing it in the microwave and turning it on for one minute. As one would expect, the phone gets destroyed, sometimes along with the microwave too.
12. FBI Agent Found Dead, Hillary Was Involved
It seems like there is a story claiming that just about every person that has had dealings with Hillary Clinton is found dead in some horrific and strange manner. This fake news story, which was seen and shared by hundreds of thousands of people, claimed that an FBI agent was killed in an act of arson and Clinton was a part of it. The story came from a site called the Denver Guardian. The problem is, the Denver Guardian doesn’t exist. At least not as a real, credible news source. They even stole the real Denver Post’s title of “Denver’s oldest news source.” Since the Denver Post has been publishing since 1892, we think it’s safe to say that it really is Denver’s oldest news source. Also, if you try to go to the Denver Guardian’s office, you’ll just end up in an empty parking lot. Seems legit.
11. The Social Experiment of Zilla Van Den Born
Zilla Van Den Born is a Dutch artist that conducted a social experiment on Facebook. She wanted to trick her friends, family, and followers into believing she was vacationing in various spots around the world. While her posts and pictures made it seem like she was in paradise, she actually didn’t leave the comfort of her own home. She has since gone public with the entire faked vacation thing, but while the charade was still alive and well, Zilla did a lot to maintain the perfect picture. When she first started her “vacation” she had a family member drop her off at the airport; as soon as they had left, she caught a ride back to her house. She even went as far to Skype her family from her “hotel room” which was her bedroom just tweaked to look more like a real vacation resort suite. She was able to falsify entire trips just using the Internet and a social media platform. That’s pretty crazy, and what’s worse is that people do it all the time.
10. Indian Woman Gives Birth To Eleven
If you’ve seen this photo, did you believe the woman in the middle of the picture was the mother of all eleven babies laid out in front? If you did, it’s ok, you, along with millions of others thought the same thing. While all the people, including the infants, are real people, those babies don’t all belong to one of those people, in fact, they aren’t even related. This isn’t a picture of an Indian mother and her eleven kids, it’s the eleven babies that were born in 2011 at the 21st Century Hospital & Test Tube Baby Center in Surat, Gujarat. They were all grouped together for this photo because all eleven babies were born on 11/11/11. That in itself is a miracle, just not quite the miracle of one woman carrying and safely delivering eleven healthy babies.
9. Pepsi Is Infected With AIDS
Before this news spreads like wildfire, this FAKE news story was created in Delhi, India. The news story that claimed that Pepsi was infected with AIDS broke on both Twitter and Whatsapp, yet another social media platform. The story seemed to come from the Delhi Police and warned consumers against drinking either Pepsi or Frooti because of an accident that had happened in the Pepsi factory. According to the fake report, a factory worker, who was HIV-positive had an accident and his blood mixed with a certain unknown batch of the beverage. This disgusting message appeared to be spread by the Delhi Police and NDTV. However, both have denied ever reporting this story and since HIV can’t be spread through food, this story is clearly fake news.
4chan pranksters fooled the world again. Well, they only actually fooled the massive amount of Bieber fans, which in itself is a pretty big feat. Back in 2012, several people that belonged to the chatroom supposedly hacked into a multitude of accounts, both celebrity and non, and spread a horrible rumor about Justin Bieber being diagnosed with cancer along with the hashtag #BaldForBieber. The whole ploy was to convince Bieber fans to shave their head, after seeing a fake picture of Justin shaved, to show support for what he was going through. While it certainly is moving to see a huge group of people coming together to support a “friend” in need, too many people fell for this faked social media post and a lot of people shaved their heads and posted their own pictures for all of the world to see.
7. Essena O’Neill
19-year-old model Essena O’Neill seemed to have the perfect life. She is beautiful, she has hundreds of thousands of followers on Instagram and she was making thousands on her Instagram posts. It sounds like a teenage girl’s daydream, and from face value, it was. However, about a year ago, Essena’a account saw some big changes that affected young women’s mentality everywhere, but in a good way. One day Essena’s account was glimmering with proof of her epically cool life, and the next day two thousand of her pictures had been deleted and her album had been relabeled to “Social Media Is Not Real Life.” In another courageous move, she captioned her remaining photos to better represent the pain and ugliness behind the beautiful facade.
6. Pretty Much Everything Surrounding The Presidential Election
In 2016, the United States was in an uproar, and honestly, we still are, during the events surrounding the presidential election. Pretty much throughout the entire campaign, through the election, and even after the results were in, there have been a ton of fake news stories favoring either Trump or Clinton. Despite the Pope already giving his opinion of Trump before the election, which wasn’t positive, there was a story that spread that claimed the Pope fully supported and backed Trump and his endeavors. Fake News. In October 2016, there was a story that broke out claiming that there were thousands of fake Clinton votes hidden in a warehouse. Snopes proved that it was fake, but it made its viral rounds before it was proven so. There is a never ending supply of these fake news stories. You must be careful about what you read.
5. The Facebook Drug Task Force
To be honest, if Facebook had a special Drug Task Force that raided your house the second you posted a picture of you smoking a blunt, there would be a LOT more people in jail. While it is certainly true that each and every day both local and federal law enforcement are scouring through social media platforms looking for criminals, the truth is they don’t have enough manpower nor the technological resources to find and track every petty criminal out there. This is probably where the whole rumor started, someone felt the need to fill the gap, so they created a fake Facebook army, of sorts. Although the day might come when social media sites could assist in the way this fake story suggests, we are still a long ways off from Facebook coming into your house to make arrests.
4. The Three-Boobed Lady
Since there are so many people out in the world modifying their bodies in ways we simply couldn’t imagine, it’s not that crazy to think that there might be a woman out there that had the desire to have three breasts and then went out to get the job done. If you saw this picture at any point and believed you were just looking at another crazy individual who wanted to look different than the rest of us, you got fooled along with the majority of the rest of the world. This is Alisha Hessler; she managed to convince everyone that she actually had a third boob added to her chest in between the former occupants. It turns out that she was only wearing a prosthesis that made it look like she had an additional appendage. After becoming a viral sensation, Alisha went a different route and left the stunts behind. She is now pursuing a career as a pop star.
3. Ireland Accepting Refugees From America Because of Trump
If your first thought after learning Donald Trump was going to be president was to move out of the country, you probably saw a few encouraging posts claiming that certain countries were opening up its borders for fleeing Americans. One of the biggest fake news stories regarding this matter claimed that a small island off the coast of Ireland had no apparent immigration policies. The site that ran this story also ran one that claimed Canada had granted disgruntled Americans pretty clear access into their country as well. Neither one of these stories were true, Americans are pretty much stuck with what we’ve got, but that wasn’t before the stories were shared over 800,000 times. Yet more proof that you can’t believe everything that you hear or read on the internet.
2. The Facebook Fee
For a brief moment, users of Facebook freaked out when they scrolled through to see a post that claimed you had to do a certain series of tasks in order for Facebook to remain a free service to you. If you weren’t quick to jump to this post’s demands, you were threatened with having to fork out either $4, $7, or $10 each month to continue to use the social media platform. Millions of people saw these fake posts, yet thousands still reposted the information or followed the series of steps, like copy and pasting the post to your wall, etc, trying to avoid losing access to their account. If you wanted to know whether or not this is a prank or “fake news,” you don’t have to look any further than Facebook’s Frequently Asked Questions page where they say “Facebook is a free site and will never require that you pay to continue using the site.” Some people just can’t seem to know when they’re reading fake news.
1. Faked “Live” Videos
On April 6th, 2016 Mark Zuckerberg made a post explaining the exciting newest feature of the social media platform, the “Live” feature. For those of you who don’t have a Facebook account, the Live feature allows the user to broadcast “live” to the world. Since its release, there have been some issues with it, both along the lines of broadcasting horrific behavior as well as taking older, pre-recorded video and broadcasting it as “live.” Techcrunch has named a few examples as the fake “live” broadcasters. Interestinate posted a “live” video of a bulb changing on a 1999 foot tower. Sounds exciting, and millions of people tuned in to watch the daring task. Although the “live” post was posted to Facebook in November of 2016, the actual footage was shot back in 2015. That’s not “live.” There are many other examples of pre-recorded video being passed off as “live,” and while Techcrunch acknowledges that Facebook’s policy in regards to the Live feature does allow pre-recorded video, it MUST be clearly labeled, and unfortunately, most of them are not. Be careful what you watch and listen to; it may be fake news.
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