The origins of the hoax

Today one of the trending topics on Twitter was Formspring. This was not just because people were posting their profiles, asking their friends to ask them questions, and making their Twitter accounts a feed of their Formspring questions and answers. A single article, supposedly from the Associated Press, popped up on the Internet. Twitter and users read it, believed it without questioning, and reposted it. They didn’t even notice the incorrect CEO of Formspring, the grammatical errors, or the lack of regard to AP style. (Maybe they take the Fake AP Stylebook seriously.) No one even noticed that the article originated from–the website of a freelance writer, web designer, and animator–and not a reputable news source. The fake article link now redirects to Inquisitr’s article on the subject.

Kling reveals on Twitter that the article was fake, which would explain some of the imperfections. He tweets (for the first time since 1 February) “To set things straight, I threw that article together for a school project. It was not intended for anyone outside of that classroom.” (Source) Whoops. Intent is one thing, but it’s the Internet. People will find it. At least the saner ones know it’s a hoax now.

Even if it was a subpar article for a school project, Kling did a good job at making users hysterical. Enjoy the surge of web traffic, Ben.

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