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November 3, 2009

Worst Internet Hoaxes
Posted by Jim Macdonald at 02:34 PM * 9 comments

They’ve got an article over at MSNBC today, 10 most heinous hoaxes on the Net. Their definition of “hoax” seems to be rather broad, ranging from the MySpace Suicide to Nigerian e-mails and Work-at-home scams.

There’s a survey on the second page, where you can vote for your choice of Most Heinous Hoax. But they don’t limit it to the choices they presented: There’s an “other” choice with a fill-in-the-box.

I used the fill-in. For me, it’s a tossup between PublishAmerica and Strategic Book Group as the most heinous hoax, but in the end I went with Strategic Book Group. Bobby Fletcher has been (according to the Florida Attorney General) scamming hopeful authors out of $600,000 per year for the best part of a decade. Compared to that, “Save Toby” is rabbit food.

Comments on Worst Internet Hoaxes:
#1 ::: Jeremy Preacher ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2009, 02:45 PM:

That's a pretty terrible article. Some of the individual incidents are interesting if not news, but the collection has zero cohesion.

#2 ::: DaveKuzminski ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2009, 02:58 PM:

I urge everyone to take part in it. If enough votes appear for a writing scam we just might see a separate article emerge that could save many writers from throwing away their money and dreams and accelerate the demise of some of the writing scams at the same time.

#3 ::: Chris Sullins ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2009, 03:33 PM:

Oh, man, that irrationality pun is terrible.

#4 ::: Larry ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2009, 04:13 PM:

Their list is kind of meh. The first one was a mistake IIRC, how can that be a hoax?

Also the Epilepsy thing is not really a hoax, more of a cruel attack on people. I'll put my nitpicking aside to add the writer scams in the poll. Except for the suicide I'd think the rest are mild in comparison.

#6 ::: Tazistan Jen ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2009, 07:18 PM:

Here is my nomination:

http://www.laweekly.com/2007-10-11/news/the-life-and-death-of-jesse-james/

#7 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: November 05, 2009, 02:30 PM:

I put in SWG, and a comment.

#8 ::: ppint. ::: (view all by) ::: November 06, 2009, 09:48 AM:

not sure that it'll ever reach the top 100, never mind the top 10, but i've recently received what i think of as "a 4192";
it invited me to send in my bank particulars, etc, to claim a share of the funds the nigerian government is (it claimed) making available to compensate victims of 419s...

#9 ::: janetl sees spam ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2009, 02:59 AM:

excellent thread to choose, of course.

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