Don’t believe everything you see on the Internet. Because if you do, you’ll end up falling in the trap of the many Internet hoaxes floating around as bait and just waiting to pluck some naïve soul out of the water. The good news here is that you don’t necessarily need to be naïve because some of the Internet hoaxes on this list were so convincing that we can totally understand the lack of suspension of disbelief.
Photo Courtesy of Marina Joyce
From the most recent infamous case all the way back to the classics, we’ve got here some of the most incredible Internet hoaxes of all time. Did you fall for any of these?
#1 Marina Joyce
We can’t start off this list without addressing the biggest case of Internet hoaxes in recent memory. YouTuber Marina Joyce’s recent strange behavior had people firmly convinced that she had been kidnapped and forced to make videos. The “clues” were scattered everywhere in her earliest videos and her bizarre responses to this situation didn’t exactly set the fire out.
The hoax was later debunked, though not particularly because of Marina’s own efforts. Her odd behavior was blamed on some sort of mental issue and because the Internet goes full circle, she’s now become a popular meme.
#2 Justin Bieber Sexuality Hoax
What makes Internet hoaxes really big is involving popular figures and celebrities. And, well, there was a time when no one was bigger than Biebs himself. Although there have been several Internet hoaxes regarding the pop star floating around, noteworthy was the one which had Justin as allegedly bisexual.
The rumors started spreading via Twitter curtsy of an image showcasing the pop star kissing singer Austin Mahone. Naturally, the photo was digitally edited and the “coming out” tweet that had supposedly belonged to Justin was also manufactured.
#3 Save Toby
Internet hoaxes also tended to take the shape of various questionable websites. In 2005, two people by the name James and Brian started a website dedicated to an injured rabbit they had found outside of their home. The website was intended to collect $50,000 for the rabbit’s treatment, with the express mention that if their quota wasn’t reached, they’d eat the rabbit.
Naturally, this stirred a lot of anger among the masses, even going as far as to have animal rights activists try to shut down the website. Fortunately, it was later proven that the website was a parody and that no real rabbits were in danger.
YouTube was and continues to be a great platform for Internet hoaxes, apparently. In 2006, a 16-year-old girl started posting videos under the name “lonelygirl15.” Her videos started gradually getting more and more disturbing as she was starting to make claims that her parents were part of a strange cult and forcing her to partake in rituals.
Things really escalated when said parents were allegedly kidnapped. Needless to say, the Internet freaked out. But like all things on this list, lonelygirl15 was also debunked. The series of videos continued under the shape of a fictional web series.
#5 Buy Tigers
Who wouldn’t want to get their hands on a majestic and exotic animal? Tigers are secretly in high-demand, so buytigers.com came just in handy. With one simple e-mail, anyone would be able to acquire their own oversized feline in just one click. Safety is guaranteed, as well as the exclusivity that comes from this being the only website of the likes floating around.
But selling tigers online (or anywhere) is really not the way to go, so there’s no surprise that animal rights activists got involved. Owner Aldo Tripiciano came forward afterwards and admitted that the website was a fake and that no tigers were actually being sold.