Despite whatever eye-popping headlines you may find in your news feed this week, pro wrestler Mark "The Undertaker" Calaway was not found dead in his Houston home on April 11. Consider the source of the report, Empire Sports News, which bills itself as "a satire and entertainment website" and is infamous for previous "scoops" such as "Michael Vick Hospitalized in Pit Bull Attack" and "Blake Griffin Smacks Justin Bieber at Hollywood Starbucks."
Fake news is rampant on the Internet. Bogus celebrity death reports pop up every single day. Too many people share stories online they haven't even read, let alone checked for accuracy.
Google is your friend. Use it!
• Don't Be Fooled! A Guide to Fake News Websites
• Top 10 Funniest Celeb Responses to Fake Death Reports
Lars Baron / Getty Images
"Blood Moon" is a term of folklore with more than one meaning, sometimes referring to any full moon that occurs in October (also known as a "Full Hunter's Moon") and sometimes referring to any total lunar eclipse, during which the moon is likely to turn dark red in color as the earth's shadow crosses its face.
As it happens, there's a total lunar eclipse on April 14-15, 2014, which means we'll experience not only a "Full Pink Moon" (any full moon that occurs in April, per Native American tradition) and a "Paschal Full Moon" (the first full moon after the vernal equinox, per Christian tradition), but also, thanks to the eclipse, a "Blood Moon." Read More...
They call it "satire," but much of what circulates by that name these days is pure, tabloid-style gossip-mongering. Take the story "Justin Bieber Admits to Being Bi-Sexual," published on the fake news website Huzlers.com a few days ago. It's accompanied by a Photoshopped picture purporting to show Bieber locking lips with fellow teen idol Austin Mahone. The smooch never really took place, nor did Bieber tweet that Mahone is his new "boyfriend." But you kinda-sorta knew that, right? Read more...
Dwayne Johnson is alive and well in New Orleans (and has kicked ass on death hoaxes before), but scammers are eager to have you to think he died filming a movie stunt so you'll share their bogus status updates (helping to spread the scam) and click on links that redirect you to pages outside of Facebook (compromising the security of both your account and your computer).
These "clickjacking" scams abound in social media (see the list of recent examples below). When blurbs like the one above promising lurid and shocking content for free show up in your news feed, don't click, just delete. Advise your friends and contacts to do the same. Read More...