First Peter Dinklage died. Then “Game of Thrones” got canceled. Then “Eastenders” and “The Walking Dead” were axed, in short succession.
None of these things actually happened, of course. But since the four-year-old Brazilian site fakeShare.com infiltrated the English-speaking Internet last week, it’s convinced untold thousands of people that they have — primarily on Facebook, where fakeShare posts have proliferated like some kind of invasive pest.
fakeShare basically improves on a concept that sites like Fake A Wish and News Jack specialized in before. You pick a newsy photo or the icon of a news organization like Yahoo. You write a fake headline and some description text. You post the whole thing to Facebook, looking all the world like a bona fide news article. Then, in the gleeful instructions of fakeShare, you sit back, “count how many people fell for your prank,” and “enjoy!”
The whole thing takes three minutes. Look at these gems I just made.
In fairness to fakeShare, the site is slightly less misleading (and thus, slightly less infuriating) than some of its predecessors. When you click a prank link from Facebook, it tells you immediately that you have, in fact, been “owned.”
That, of course, assumes everyone will click through — which, in this cursory age of skimming and too-long-didn’t-read is, frankly, anything but certain. It only takes one person to tweet that Kimye broke up without clicking in … and an Internet rumor is born!
Be on your guard, gullible Facebook users. You don’t want the rumor-starter to be you.