Despite the fact that practically everyone knows that the World Wide Web abounds with deception, netizens continue to be fooled by Internet scams and hoaxes. Proof of this happening stares us in the face almost every day; we all have that one (or more) social networking contact who seems to make a hobby out of posting articles containing spurious information. And the likes, retweets and shares obtained by such materials only serve to highlight that gullibility seems to be a common characteristic among many Internet users.
Here are ten Internet hoaxes that were highly successful in fooling the world:
10. #BaldForBieber (2012)
On October 22, 2012, a a screenshot made to appear like an official tweet from the Entertainment Tonight account spread like wildfire. It announced that teenage heartthrob Justin Bieber had been diagnosed with cancer and suggested that fans shave their heads in support of him, hence the hashtag #BaldForBieber. Tribute videos, a website, and Facebook pages further circulated the rumor, reportedly causing a few diehard fans, most of them female, to actually shave their heads and tweet pictures of themselves with their bald crowns. Fortunately, the hoax was short-lived as various sources immediately revealed that trolls on 4Chan had started it.