Don't believe everything you see: 26 hoaxes we fell for this year

  • Vishakha Saxena, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Dec 30, 2014 19:11 IST

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

Cannot. Emphasise. Enough. On. How. This. Is. Not. True.

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

... 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

Read: Aamir Khan reveals Instagram account is fake

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

According to this Wikipedia page, people have been falling for this one since 2003!

Much amaze.

20. That this is what it looks like when a plane flies over a rainbow

Seriously. Everyone fell for this one.

21. That this is what a toilet looks like in Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych's mansion

Like, a boss. Not!

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

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.

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