The Internet Hoax of 2010.

A drunken tourist became a worldwide sensation after it was reported he killed a shark that had been terrorising swimmers at the Egyptian resort of Sharm-el-Sheikh.
Serbian Dragan Stevic threw himself into the Red Sea and landed bottom-first onto the head of the man-eating shark, killing it instantly.

The picture that ran with the initial report was in fact taken on a beach in the US and not the Red Sea / Carolyn Drost

Stevic was hailed a national hero for saving the tourism season and was even nicknamed “Shark-el-Sheikh”.

Except that he wasn’t. The whole story, which was first reported by the Macedoninan International News Agency and then picked up by news organisations around the world, including The New York Post, was in fact a hoax.

Bloggers quickly began questioning the authenticity of the reports, pointing out that the account was riddled with holes, The Daily Mail reported.

The US website Carolinabeachtoday.com pointed out that the picture accompanying the MINA report was actually taken from their website and showed a basking shark, which only eats plankton.

And instead of the Red Sea, the shark in question actually washed up thousands of miles away off the coast of Duck in North Carolina.

Read the full story in the “Courier Mail”

I really can’t believe the newspapers fell for this, or I should say reporters. I mean a guy falling on a shark and it dies, it doesn’t even make sense. It would be impossible. But I noticed in the article it said that bloggers were questioning this story, seems bloggers may have more sense than some other people. Good on all of you who blogged about this story and saw it for what it was.

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8 Responses to The Internet Hoax of 2010.

  1. Selma says:

    Some of those internet hoaxes are incredible because it is so obvious they are hoaxes, yet people fall for them. I will never understand why people create a hoax in the first place because they usually get found out.

    I hope you are enjoying the Christmas season and that 2011 brings you lots of happiness. I have had fun reading your blog this year. Keep up the good work!

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi Selma,
      This one is so obvious, I’m having trouble believing that anyone fell for it. You are right sooner or later the truth always comes out.

      I am enjoying the Xmas period. Thank You for those kind words. I also wish you all the best for 2011.

  2. Starry says:

    I love it when a hoax unravels! Remember that guy at Bondi who said he got hurt by a shark…. and it turns out he got cut breaking into someone’s apartment and the whole story unraveled during the filming of the tv show Bondi? He seemed so fishy from the start…. man, liars, they never realise how far fetched their story seems! I have even recently been contacted by some loser who reckons he found Saddam Husseins hidden millions in Iraq. As if I’d fall for that scam!

    I hope you have a great new year and one thing’s for sure, you will not find it difficult to find interesting stories to blog in 2011

    • magsx2 says:

      Oh yes I do remember the Bondi man, it was even on the 6 pm news that he had been hurt by a shark, a lot of people fell for that one. Yes there are a few story’s out there that seem very far fetched, especially the scam e-mails, really how many people fall for that rubbish.

      You also have a great 2011, there is also something going on somewhere isn’t there.

  3. malc50 says:

    MINA (Macedonian International News Agency) is full of interesting stories: e.g. Spanish Woman Says She Owns the Sun

    After billions of years the Sun finally has an owner — a woman from Spain’s soggy region of Galicia said Friday she had registered the star at a local notary public as being her property.

    Angeles Duran, 49, told the online edition of daily El Mundo she took the step in September after reading about an American man who had registered himself as the owner of the moon and most planets in our solar system.

    There is an international agreement which states that no country may claim ownership of a planet or star, but it says nothing about individuals, she added.

    “There was no snag, I backed my claim legally, I am not stupid, I know the law. I did it but anyone else could have done it, it simply occurred to me first.”

    The document issued by the notary public declares Duran to be the “owner of the Sun, a star of spectral type G2, located in the centre of the solar system, located at an average distance from Earth of about 149,600,000 kilometers.”

    Duran, who lives in the town of Salvaterra do Mino, said she now wants to slap a fee on everyone who uses the sun and give half of the proceeds to the Spanish government and 20 percent to the nation’s pension fund.

    She would dedicate another 10 percent to research, another 10 percent to ending world hunger — and would keep the remaining 10 percent herself.

    “It is time to start doing things the right way, if there is an idea for how to generate income and improve the economy and people’s wellbeing, why not do it?” she asked.

    Thanks magsx2 for your great posts during 2010. I look forward to 2011.

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi malc50,
      Yes it was an unreal story, although I can’t see her making any money out of it surely. But then again nothing would surprise my these days. 🙂

  4. bronxboy55 says:

    The thing that’s most striking about so many Internet hoaxes is how fast and easy it is to uncover the truth — or at least enough truth to know you’re dealing with a hoax. I have to believe most people who fall for these things aren’t at all interested in the facts.

    I enjoyed your post, and the comments as well.

    Happy New Year!

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi bronxboy55,
      You are so right, it doesn’t seem to take long to uncover the hoaxes. I will never understand how some people can fall for them, a lot seem so obvious.
      Glad you enjoyed the read.
      A Happy New Year to you as well, and all the best for 2011.

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