Current Netlore: Petitions, Politics & Protest
Internet hoaxes, email rumors and urban legends
|Hoax = False, deliberately deceptive information
UL = Urban Legend - a popularly believed narrative, typically false
Rumor = Anecdotal claims - may be true, false, or in between
Junk = Flotsam and jetsam of the Net
NOTE: You can also locate specific items by typing relevant words into the Search box at the top of any page.
1943 NY Times Front Page on Warsaw Ghetto Uprising
Circulating via email, an image purporting to show the front page of the May 10, 1943 edition of the New York Times with a headline declaring that the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising against Nazi oppression was an "over-reaction."
ABC Responds to Viewer Complaint About Gays
When Jim Neugent sent an email to ABC complaining about an episode of The Practice, he got more in response than he bargained for.
Abercrombie & Fitch Catalog Sells 'Group Sex' to Teens
Forwarded email flier urges consumers to protest Abercrombie & Fitch's 2003 'A&F Quarterly' magazine, which features young adults in various stages of undress engaging in 'group sex.'
ACLU Objects to Marines Praying
Has the ACLU raised objections to U.S. service personnel praying based on a photo showing a group of Marines with bowed heads?
ACLU vs. Crosses on Federal Property
Is the American Civil Liberties Union against displaying crosses on federal property?
Afghan Women's Rights (Petition)
Not a hoax, but a sincere effort gone astray.
Al Gore's Electric Bill
Forwarded email claims that global warming crusader Al Gore's personal energy consumption far exceeds that of the average American household.
Al Gore vs. Christianity
The U.S. Vice President allegedly calls Christians "a blight on the environment."
American Flag v. Mexican Flag
Emailed images show Hispanic high school students in California demonstrating against proposed immigration legislation by hoisting a Mexican flag above an upside-down American flag.
Amina Lawal Petition
Amnesty International disavows inaccurate 2003 email campaign on behalf of Amina Lawal, a Nigerian woman sentenced to death by stoning for allegedly committing adultery.
Anne Kilkenny on Sarah Palin
Widely-forwarded email written by Wasilla, Alaska resident Anne Kilkenny questions Sarah Palin's fitness to be Vice-President.
In which we are told that a pregnant girl's boyfriend has agreed to let her to bear the child if 500 people sign this petition. Sheesh.
Anti-Bush Clothing/Laptop Bag Label
Translated into English, the French portion of an American product label reads: 'We are sorry that our president is an idiot. We did not vote for him.'
AOL Charging Fee for Instant Messages (Petition)
Age-old false rumor targeting America Online members.
Austin Voter Finds Vote Switched from Democratic to Republican
Email flier reports the experience of an Austin, Texas woman who did a final check of her ballot after voting a straight Democratic ticket and found her choice for president changed from Kerry to Bush.
Barack Obama Changes Presidential Seal
Email flier says Barack Obama used a podium featuring an altered version of the Presidential Seal during a June 2008 campaign appearance.
Barack Obama's Church
Email rumor labels presidential candidate Barack Obama a racist for attending a church that describes itself as "unashamedly black" with a "non-negotiable commitment to Africa."
Barack Obama's Economic Advisers
Forwarded email alleges that three former Fannie Mae executives accused of improprieties -- Franklin Raines, Tim Howard, and Jim Johnson -- are all now serving as top economic advisers to Barack Obama.
Barack Obama Explains National Anthem Stance
Circulating via email, an alleged quote from Barack Obama explains why he doesn't wear a flag pin or salute the flag during the national anthem.
Barack Obama's Foreign Fundraising
Phony op-ed column attributed to New York Times writer Maureen Dowd claims Barack Obama has accepted campaign donations from foreign countries including Saudi Arabia and Iran.
Obama: 'I've Visited 57 States'
Forwarded email quotes a campaign-weary Barack Obama saying he has campaigned (or plans to campaign) in 'all 57 states.' Lo and behold, allegedly, it turns out there are 57 Islamic states.
Barack Obama Isn't a Natural-Born Citizen
Email rumor claims that Barack Obama is ineligible to become president because according to the laws in effect at the time of his birth he is not a natural-born citizen of the U.S.
The Barack Obama / Kenya Connection
Emailed letter from American missionaries in Kenya claims Barack Obama is a racist Muslim who fomented political chaos in Africa and is dedicated to worldwide jihad.
Barack Obama Is a Muslim
Email rumor alleges that probable U.S. presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama is actually a loyal Muslim who has lied about his religious background, including his claim to being a devoted Christian.
Barack Obama on the Phone (Photo)
Emailed photo shows presidential candidate Barack Obama speaking on the phone while apparently holding the receiver upside-down.
Barack Obama Quote
Supposedly uttered by Barack Obama: "My friends, we live in the greatest nation in the history of the world. I hope you'll join with me as we try to change it."
Barack Obama Removes U.S. Flag from Campaign Plane
Email flier chastises presidential candidate Barack Obama for removing an image of the American flag from the tail of his campaign jet.
Barack Obama Snubs Troops on Visit to Afghanistan
[br] Email purportedly written by a U.S. Army captain claims Barack Obama shunned rank-and-file soldiers during his July 2008 visit to military installations in Afghanistan.
Barbara Bell & 'Women United Against War' Petition
Email petition falsely claims that a "Congresswoman Barbara Bell" led a walkout by 25 female members during the vote on a war powers resolution for President Bush.
Barbara Bush on Hurricane Katrina Refugess
A remark attributed to ex-first lady and mother-of-the-president Barbara Bush during a visit to the Hurricane Katrina refugee shelter in the Houston Astrodome.
Bette Midler Letter to President Bush on Gay Marriage
A widely circulated email criticizing President Bush's stance on gay marriage is falsely attributed to Bette Midler.
'Bile Bears' in China (Petition)
This is a well-intended e-petition containing fairly accurate information, but "signing" it is a waste of time.
Bill 602P - 5-Cent Tax on Email
They're at it again! The post office, we're told, wants to place a tax on every email delivered.
Bill Cosby's Write-in Platform for President
Circulating online, a "presidential platform" attributed to "write-in candidate" Bill Cosby. He did not write it.
Bill Makes Anti-Gay Speech a Crime
Email alert circulated by conservative Christian group claims a new bill in Congress would make it a crime for pastors and churches to speak out against homosexuality.
The Bin Laden/Gum Arabic Connection
Various emails advocate a boycott of soft drinks and other products containing gum arabic because it allegedly puts money in the pockets of terrorists.
Bird Flu, Tamiflu and the Rumsfeld Connection
Forwarded email asserts a conspiratorial connection between the worldwide alarm over a possible avian flu pandemic and Donald Rumsfeld's financial interest in the company that patented the antiviral drug Tamiflu.
Black Heritage Stamps to Be Discontinued
This rumor returns year after year, even though the U.S. Postal Service continues to issue new African American Heritage stamps annually.
Black Voting Rights to Expire in 2007
This email alert, bouncing around the Internet since January 1997, has just about all of the facts wrong.
Bonsai Kitten Petition "What follows may be hard to believe. Please bare in mind that Dr. Mengele, the Nazi war criminal, once said: 'The more we do, the less you seem to believe it.'"
'Book of Daniel' TV Show Features Dysfunctional Christian Family
Email alert from the American Family Association decries a new NBC series featuring a dysfunctional Christian family headed by a drug-addicted Episcopal priest.
Boycott Dunkin' Donuts!
Arab employees of Dunkin' Donuts were supposedly observed "celebrating" after the September 11 attacks.
Best check the facts before tossing out your Cartier jewels and Yoplait yogurt. Not all the companies listed in the various "Boycott France" chain letters now circulating are actually French.
Boycott Middle Eastern Oil to Stop Terrorism
This reinvented "Gas Out" for 2002 claims that consumers can avoid lending support to terrorism by boycotting certain brands of gasoline.
Boycott Timothy McVeigh Book
Email urges recipients not to make a "hero" of the Oklahoma City bomber by buying a book about him.
A Canadian's Tribute to Americans
Also circulating under the title "America: The Good Neighbor," this text is authentic but was originally authored in 1973.
Casey Sheehan's Grave Marker
Email flier accuses anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan of "not bothering" to place a tombstone over the grave of her son, Casey Sheehan, who was killed in the Iraq war in 2004.
Charlie Daniels on Illegal Immigration
Forwarded email combines two op-ed pieces written by country singer Charlie Daniels on the hot topic of illegal immigration and what should be done about it.
Charlie Daniels: Open Letter to the Hollywood Bunch
Circulating by email: Acrimonious open letter to antiwar celebrities was indeed penned by prowar celebrity Charlie Daniels.
Christians Face 47 Years in Prison for Reading Bible in Public
Email flier claims the First Amendment rights of a Christian group reading Bible passages at a gay pride event were violated when they were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and hate crimes.
Email flier claims that Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a soldier who died in the Iraq war, never really cared about her son while he was growing up and in fact abandoned him to be raised by her "ex-husband" so she could pursue her "liberal, feminist agenda."
Cindy Williams vs. Military Pay Raise
Did the actress who played Shirley in "Laverne and Shirley" pen an editorial decrying military pay increases?
Citgo Boycott (Venezuela Dictator Vows to Bring Down U.S. Gov't)
Email flier urges Americans to boycott Venezuela-owned Citgo gas stations in response to anti-U.S. statements made by Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez.
Citizens Against Breast-Feeding
Sign this petition if you want to ban this "incestuous perversion" from the United States.
The Clinton Body Count
Forwarded email dating from the mid-1990s contains a list of dozens of people connected with Bill and Hillary Clinton who -- we are to believe -- died under mysterious circumstances.
Clintons Make Secret Service Pay Their Mortgage
The tale is that Bill and Hillary are charging their Secret Service guards in their new Chappaqua, NY house an amount of rent equal to their mortgage.
'Clothes' by Maya Angelou
"Poem" purportedly written by Maya Angelou criticizes African Americans for buying clothing manufactured by allegedly racist companies.
Colin Powell Quote on 'Empire Building'
Alleged response from U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell to alleged question about American "empire building" from England's Archbishop of Canterbury.
Congress Plans to Reinstate the Military Draft
Email flier claims Congress is actively pursuing plans to increase funding of the Selective Service System and reinstate the military draft in the U.S. by 2005.
Congressional Pensions vs. Social Security
Members of the U.S. Senate and Congress enjoy lavish pensions at taxpayer expense.
Credit Bureaus to Release Private Info
But that is nothing new. What's new is that consumers now have the ability to opt out of certain kinds of information sharing.