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Which of The Following is True of Internet Hoaxes?: Characteristics And Dangers

Which of The Following is True of Internet Hoaxes?

As an experienced blogger, I’ve seen my fair share of internet hoaxes. They’re everywhere, from social media platforms to email inboxes, and they’ve become a significant part of the digital landscape. But what exactly is true of these online deceptions? Let’s delve into the world of internet hoaxes and debunk some common misconceptions.

You might think you’re savvy enough to spot an internet hoax from a mile away. However, the truth is, they’re often more sophisticated than you’d expect. They’re designed to manipulate emotions, exploit vulnerabilities, and mimic legitimate sources, making it challenging to distinguish fact from fiction.

Definition of Internet Hoaxes

In today’s digital age, internet hoaxes have become a phenomenon that’s hard to ignore. But what exactly does this term mean? In simple terms, an internet hoax refers to false information or claims made on the internet with the purpose of deceiving or misleading users.

These hoaxes can take a multitude of forms, ranging from seemingly harmless pranks and chain emails to harmful scams or even fabricated news stories. These may seem legit at first glance but are often borne out of a desire to spread misinformation, cause confusion, or exploit unsuspecting web users for personal gain.

It’s essential to keep in mind that internet hoaxes are not typically malicious software like viruses or malware. Instead, they are more akin to social engineering attacks, aimed at manipulating human behavior or emotions. This is often done through compelling narratives or emotional triggers designed to compel the user into sharing or engaging with the hoax content.

Internet hoaxes have a few common features:

  • They often contain information that’s difficult to verify
  • They typically appeal to emotions
  • They aim to spread rapidly and reach as many people as possible

Types of Internet Hoaxes

Now that we’ve discussed the definition and potential dangers of internet hoaxes, let’s delve deeper into their different types. To fully understand these hoaxes, we’ll be focusing on the main avenues they travel: Emails, social media, and websites.

Email Hoaxes

We’re all familiar with email scams, but email hoaxes deserve their own spotlight. Email Hoaxes typically involve an alarming or enticing message urging you to take action. This could be anything from forwarding the email to all of your contacts or following a suspicious link. The whole intention is to exploit the recipient’s fear, curiosity, or trust. The infamous “Nigerian Prince” emails are a classic example of this type of hoax. Unfortunately, once these emails are forwarded, they spread like wildfire, making it extremely difficult to contain or debunk.

Social Media Hoaxes

Next, we have the realm of Social Media Hoaxes. With the rise of social media platforms, hoax creators have found fertile grounds to spread their falsified stories or claims. These hoaxes often disguise themselves as legitimate posts or trending topics, manipulating your emotions to encourage shares or likes. Examples of such hoaxes can be scaremongering health claims, fake celebrity gossip, or fabricated news stories. One recent notable example was the “Momo Challenge” that caused panic among parents worldwide, yet was later proved a hoax.

Characteristics of Internet Hoaxes

Sensational Claims

One common characteristic of internet hoaxes is the use of Sensational Claims. These might be anything from ‘Aliens Found in Siberia’ to ‘New Cure for Cancer Discovered’. These hoaxes are deliberately designed to grab your attention and pique your curiosity. For instance, in an email hoax, these claims exploit panic, curiosity, or trust, coercing the recipient into taking some action. It’s this sensational nature of the claims that attracts our attention and makes us more likely to hit that ‘share’ or ‘forward’ button.


I’ve laid bare the truth about internet hoaxes. They’re master manipulators, using fear, curiosity, and empathy to trick us into sharing false information. Whether it’s an email hoax praying on our trust, a social media hoax pulling our emotional strings, or a website hoax mimicking credible sources, they’re all designed to deceive. The sensational claims they make are meant to grab our attention and stir our emotions, pushing us to share or like their content. They often lack credible sources, a glaring red flag for identifying these internet tricksters. It’s crucial to stay vigilant, always verifying information before believing or sharing it. Remember, internet hoaxes are not harmless pranks; they’re carefully crafted deceptions that can cause real harm. Let’s not be fooled by these digital wolves in sheep’s clothing.

Vincent Harriman
Vincent Harriman
Travel Blogger and Guide. European Tour leader and expert local guide. Keen interest in business and tech.

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