There’s been a spell of hoaxes making the rounds on the Net lately.
Michael Savage, a right-wing tele-blowhard lost his job after a call-in prankster gave him just enough rope to hang himself. This story got a lot of play in Blogistan.
There was Baby Ink, the website for a toddler-tattoo parlor. Done with a completely straight face, it was revealed as a hoax.
There is the amazing robot cop spec video (bah, annoying redirects: click on “Neil’s domain,” then “reel pt 3”) that some people took seriously. This is not a hoax per se–this simply reveals the credulity of some people.
Now there’s Hunting for Bambi, which purports to be a, ahh, service that allows men with some serious issues to paintball-hunt naked women. Although there’s actually a legitimate news story (and video) on this, it appears to be a hoax.
The thing these hoaxes have in common is outrage, in both senses of the word: they are outrageous (incredible), and they are outrages (atrocious). They get us into a sputtering fit for a moment, until someone pins down that they are, in fact, false.
Of course, when hoaxes appear elsewhere in the public arena, the revelation of falsity provokes even greater outrage.