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  #21  
Old 10 January 2013, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by llewtrah View Post
I disagree. The hoaxer might have wanted to see how long it remained there before being noticed.
But that's the point. If your hoax involves some obscure, specialized topic of no interest to the general public, and it's placed in such a way that even the small subset of people who might have an interest in the subject are unlikely to find it, that's not much of a hoax -- you can't distinguish between "nobody noticed this was a hoax" and "nobody even read this in the first place."
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  #22  
Old 10 January 2013, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by snopes View Post
But that's the point. If your hoax involves some obscure, specialized topic of no interest to the general public, and it's placed in such a way that even the small subset of people who might have an interest in the subject are unlikely to find it, that's not much of a hoax -- you can't distinguish between "nobody noticed this was a hoax" and "nobody even read this in the first place."
Just because there's no immediate outcry doesn't mean it's not been noticed and copied. I periodically search on a couple of my hoax items and find them quoted or referenced. Like a pebble thrown in a pool, the ripples get bigger and further away. For me, a good hoax is a slow-burning one. It can be extremely satisfying to see something apparently unnoticed for years before it's questioned.

I have to admit I almost got kicked out of an UL list for suggesting we invented a UL, planted it and observed to see how far it would spread (instead of simply gathering and discussing ones already out there) - I saw it as a social experiment!
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  #23  
Old 10 January 2013, 09:35 PM
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Originally Posted by llewtrah View Post
Just because there's no immediate outcry doesn't mean it's not been noticed and copied. I periodically search on a couple of my hoax items and find them quoted or referenced.
The whole point of a hoax is to lure people into unquestionably believing something they should have good reason to doubt; something they should be able to determine is false with the application of a little bit of critical thinking or background checking. That people have reproduced something is no guarantee that they have read it, that they have understood it, or that they had any good reason for questioning it.
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  #24  
Old 11 January 2013, 08:25 PM
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Slight hijack, but the listing of Wikipedia hoaxes on Wikipedia just cracked me up. In particular:

Quote:
Chen Fang
A Wikipedian noticed in November 2012 that The Harvard Guide to Using Sources said that "an Expos student who was writing a paper about the limitations of Wikipedia posted a fictional entry for himself, stating that he was the mayor of a small town in China. Four years later, if you type in his name, or if you do a subject search on Wikipedia for mayors of towns in China, you will still find this fictional entry." No longer.
I like how it had to hit the media before they noticed. At least Wikipedia is honest enough to hone up to the mistakes.
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