Tuesday, July 15, 2014

I go viral!

2021 Update: see here

I have a confession to make: for years, it's been one of my private ambitions to start a viral Internet hoax.  I am fascinated by what makes people forward/like/share information that is obviously fake.  I haven't really been trying that hard, but I have made some lame attempts at an over-the-top virus warning, and created a phony Facebook competition to win a million dollars that attracted absolutely zero interest.

And then, a few days ago, in a moment of frustration at Israel's lame leadership, I penned the speech I wish we could hear from our Prime Minister ending it with the line, "... and then I awoke, and it was all a dream", and shared it on Facebook.

Nothing much came of that, or so I thought.  A few people commented on the article, and there were one or two shares.  And that was it.

Until a few days later, when someone forwarded to me the entire text of my speech, minus the last line.  In other words, they believed this was a real speech, and had sent it to me because they thought I would take heart from it.

I did.  I so did!  At first, I sat staring at the screen, open mouthed, then as I checked the "forwarded" thread to see how many degrees of forwarding this mail had gone through, I broke into a huge smile, a laugh, and I actually started jumping for joy.  Really.

I had done it!  Without even trying!  My fictional prose - my very own! - had gone viral as a chain email hoax!

To whoever took the trouble to copy and paste my text into email without attribution: I forgive you.  And I love you.  With rockets flying in all directions around my ears, you have made my month.  Thank you.


Michael Sandler said...


Anonymous said...

I think you did a great job and it might spart some discussion on what should be done.
From Doug Vogt, Seattle WA

Chaim said...

Almost 5 years later, as rockets tragically reign down on Israel (yet again) I just received a WhatsApp with the following headline:

*Breaking news:* Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu just made the following speech in front of the Knesset:

.... and then this speech VERBATIM minus the last line!

Some quick detective work led me here and I have only four words to say: The power of viral!

Juanita Bradshaw said...

Ditto to the above post two years later today 12th May 2021. Having read the viral message before, I searched for a link confirming that it wasn't true, to send to friends (a bunch) who'd forwarded the viral message to me, and one asked if I'd seen the comment by the chap who wrote it. I hadn't, so took a look and was glad I did.

Billy Beck said...

So: you're a goddamned liar.

Now, we know.

Anonymous said...

So we have people like you to thank for all the fake news flying around.

Mary D said...

U r a fake, a liar, a spreader of hatred! Did u even consider the consequences of your hoax? Just what the world needs, another lying, wreckless idiot!

Mary D said...

Dear Author: Not funny,did u even consider the consequences of your hoax, such as inciting hatred, riots or civil war! U r an idiot of the worst kind!