A hoax is an act, document or artifact intended to deceive or defraud the
public. Examples range from relatively benign instances of trickery, such as
April Fools pranks, to scientific fraud on a grand scale, such as the Piltdown
Man hoax of the early 20th century.
The word hoax dates from the 1700s and is believed to be a contraction of
hocus b as in hocus pocus , the centuries-old nonsense phrase used by stage
magicians (along with abracadabra ) to invoke "magic spells"
The advent of the Internet has provided an unprecedented platform for the
perpetrators of hoaxes by placing inexpensive, easy-to-use self-publishing
tools at everyone's disposal. Email hoaxes in particular spread false
information from person to person with astonishing rapidity by encouraging
recipients to forward ersatz documents, chain letter-style, to everyone they
know. Web hoaxes consist of bogus Websites designed to fool users into
believing they are visiting legitimate home pages which in fact present false
or misleading information.
Regardless of the specific form it may take, what distinguishes any hoax from
mere error or folklore is that it is deliberately deceptive.
Below is an example of the HOAX click here or on the title of this release.
Warn your friends and local system users of this newest notice to the net.