Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

A Web Hoax, Transformed

Filed under
Web

"SAVE NPR and PBS," reads an e-mail petition being circulated by MoveOn.org, a liberal advocacy group. "Really. Check the footnotes if you don't believe us."

The group was one of dozens to solicit signatures after a House committee voted to cut federal support of National Public Radio and television shows like "Sesame Street." But many found they had to first persuade a jaded Internet citizenry that their petitions were authentic.

That was necessary because, according to folklorists of the online world, two students at the University of Northern Colorado had sent out a similar "Save NPR/PBS" petition way back in 1995, shortly after Republican legislators began a push to eliminate public broadcasting.

What happened next was in some ways characteristic of what happens to information on the Internet: the students' e-mail campaign soon got out of hand. The petition kept circulating, this time as a hoax, long after the threat to public radio and television had disappeared.

Then, in a reminder of the slippery distinction between digital fact and fiction, current events turned the e-mail's oft-debunked but never killed message into reality. In a classically surreal Internet moment, the new e-mail was taken for the bogus old one, and the old one, for many years a hoax, suddenly became true.

The e-mail's metamorphosis has caused confusion among those long used to seeing "Save NPR/PBS" in an inbox subject line and deleting the message. It also highlights the ongoing clash between the credulous and the skeptical on the Internet.

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

KDE Plasma 5.7.2 Introduces Lots of Plasma Workspace Improvements, KWin Fixes

KDE released the second maintenance update for the KDE Plasma 5.7 desktop environment series, which has already been adopted by several popular GNU/Linux operating systems. Read more

Gain access to an ARM server running Linux OS, through the cloud

The Linaro Developer Cloud has gone live, and users can apply to test an ARM-based server with Linux Read more

SparkyLinux Now Lets Users Test Drive Linux Kernel 4.7, Here's How to Install It

Just one day after the announcement of the GA release of the Linux 4.7 kernel, the SparkyLinux developers inform their users that they can now test drive the new kernel from the unstable repository. Read more

Clear Linux Is Among the First Distros to Adopt Kernel 4.7, X.Org Server 1.18.4

Today, July 26, 2016, Softpedia was informed by the Clear Linux team about the availability of new software updates for the GNU/Linux operating system designed for the Intel architecture. Read more