There is no escaping this trap. Like in the past, this year too saw the rise and fall of many hoaxes, and we fell for most of them.
What is even scarier is that with the growing influence of social media in our life, fake information found easier avenues for virality this year.
Here's our list of rumours that most of us fell for:
1. That this tragic picture of a bloody shoe is from the Peshawar school siege
Actually this heartening image is from the Gaza-Palestine conflict and both sides have used it quite liberally.
2. Ebola victims are dying and turning into zombies
3. That NASA had confirmed the Earth will experience six days of darkness
Really, don't believe everything you read.
4. iPhone's iOS8 feature 'WAVE' can charge your phone via microwave frequencies
Well played, internet.
5. Google Satellite's image of a 'broken down plane' during Karachi airport attack
As believable as the images seemed, authorities confirmed that the attackers were unable to harm a single plane.
6. That Steven Spielberg really killed a dinosaur
Thanks, Facebook. Just FYI, dinosaurs have been extinct for millions of years now.
7. That this is how an aurora looks from space
8. That you'll be charged for using Facebook
That would've never ended well.
9. That 4chan was going to leak nude pictures of Emma Watson
10. This is how India looked from space on Diwali
Wishful thinking. The image was actually developed by Nasa to illustrate the growth of India's population over the years.
11. That Julian Assange endorsed Narendra Modi
As Wikileaks clarified that the said 'endorsement' was a lie, memes of 'Assange endorsing things' became quite popular on Twitter and Facebook.
12. The iPhone 6 is contaminated with the Ebola virus
I don't even.
13. That Honey Singh is dead. So are Dilip Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar
News of YoYo's accident is a fake rumour must be spread by some haters. Please don't bother and Keep blessing YoYo— Yo Yo Honey Singh (@asliyoyo) June 2, 2014
... Jackie Chan, Macaulay Culkin and Betty White were also victims of the death hoax.
14. That this 179-year-old Indian is the oldest man alive
Everyone loves a miracle.
15. That Lord Hanuman's gada was excavated in Sri Lanka this year
16. Actor Aamir Khan joined Instagram
17. That the forever-loved American sitcom Friends will be back soon... as a movie
This one hurt. *sniff*
18. Cult street artist Banksy had been identified and arrested
No one realised that the story was published on National Report, a popular satire news website.
19. That Mars will be as big as the moon on August 27, 2014
12:30 Aug27 you will see two moons in the sky, but only one will be the moon. The other will be Mars.next time 2287. pic.twitter.com/xro5RbMNdd— cookiemonster (@BlackishGurl) August 24, 2014
According to this Wikipedia page, people have been falling for this one since 2003!
20. That this is what it looks like when a plane flies over a rainbow
Seriously. Everyone fell for this one.
ARGHHHHH pic.twitter.com/np9Gr2qhrs— Jonathan Haynes (@JonathanHaynes) October 29, 2014
21. That this is what a toilet looks like in Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych's mansion
Like, a boss. Not!
Folks. I goofed. Please don’t be tempted by the too-good-to be true toilet photo. It’s not from #Yanukovych estate.— Jim Roberts (@nycjim) February 22, 2014
22. France introduced a new law banning work after 6pm
And the world was a less jealous place.
23. That this is the official Twitter account of North Korea
Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Un sternly rebukes criminal provocations by indolent U.S. propaganda stooge George R.R. Martin.— DPRK News Service (@DPRK_News) December 22, 2014
24. On Jan 4, 2015, planetary alignment will decrease gravity for 5 minutes and cause partial weightlessness
25. That Barack Obama's 16-year-old daughter Malia Obama is pregnant
The trolls, unfortunately, had a field day.
26. That #AlexFromTarget was a marketing gig
The hoax that this was a marketing gig was itself a marketing gig.
#Alexfromtarget was a 100% pure magic of teenagers.
Pssst: This is not an exhaustive list.