Online, Everyday is April Fools’ Day

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Via NY Times:

On this day, the holiest for online pranksters, today’s headlines, R.S.S. feeds and tweet-streams will be flooded with fake press releases, fake news items and prank headlines.

Adding to the confusion, some companies will introduce products today whose press releases will be mistaken for jokes. When Gmail was announced April 1, 2004, many people thought the then unheard-of offer of one gigabyte of free e-mail storage could not be true.

But then, Google can only blame itself. The company is famous for April Fools’ pranks like fictitious job openings for a research center on the moon, Google Gulp, a drink to make you smarter about making search inquiries and a broadband service called TiSP, or Toilet Internet Service Provider, that used wires strung through sewers. (Not a bad idea, really.)

Thinking about how people get fooled on April 1 is a good way to prepare for the year-round attempts by swindlers to bamboozle the naïve, the witless and those who just aren’t paying close attention. In other words, all of us.

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