Numerous elaborate hoaxes have appeared over the past few years, in many cases generating even more publicity once they were found out not to be true. Here are some of the biggest ones that have appeared in recent years.
Google acquisition widely reported
In November 2012, a brief tech PR release on PRweb announced that google had acquired ICOA, a company which produces wi-fi networks for public areas for the sum of 400 million dollars. Many websites picked up on this news and went ahead to cover the deal, along with in-depth analysis of how the deal affected both companies. However it turned out that the story was a complete fabrication.
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Despite the press release being peppered with grammar mistakes, the news sites had decided to pounce on the story to be first without checking the facts first, assuming the press release was assumed to be correct. This hoax was presumably created by someone with vested interests in boosting the share price and as a result trading on ICOA stock was stopped immediately. Since then, numerous people have tried to carry out similar hoaxes, dhoespite hefty fines and prison sentences being dealt out.
Halo 4 fake app and PR letter confuse gamers
In order to try and taint the reputation of the tech PR industry, a fake PR letter was put together addressing a fictitious journalist and did the rounds online, suggesting that a PR agency had demanded a favorable review from the journalist for the game produced by Microsoft. Despite it being an obvious fake as the agency never represented the brand, many gamers insisted on believing the letter was real.
Halo 4 was then targeted by hoaxers again when two fake games managed to be accepted by the Apple store in the space of a couple of days. One version transpired to be just a game of chess, complete with glowing reviews describing gameplay, tricking gamers into paying for the fake app. Apple eventually managed to pull the app from the marketplace, to the relief of the game producers.
Claim that Internet Explorer have lower IQ
An amusing hoax appeared in 2011 claiming that people using internet explorer had lower IQs than those who preferred other browsers such as google chrome or firefox. The evidence provided came from the results of a survey of a hundred thousand people, carried out by a company called AptiQuaint which described itself as a “psychometric consulting company”.
The survey was even picked up on and reported by major news organisations such as the BBC, CNN, Forbes, the daily mail and the telegraph. The suspicions that this was a hoax arose when people trying to validate the findings were unable to contact ApitQuaint. Their website was also found to be only a month old with most of the content lifted from another research company. The motives behind the elaborate prank remain unknown, with people speculating whether it was done with the intention of providing negative tech PR for internet explorer or just a simple joke.
Eilidh MacRae works for Eclat who are a tech PR agency.
This article is contributed by Eilidh MacRae and posted by Rizwan Ahmad Author and founder of cyberockk.com, He is a tech blogger from India and he loves to share his thoughts by writing articles on this site to the different topics related to technology world,