After feeling taken advantage of, disappointed, and saddened needlessly; I started to write this blog about hoaxes and their effect on not only business, but on people’s mental health. Within a week of starting this article, they started to come out of the woodwork. Maybe it’s like buying a new car that is black and noticing everybody else has a black car. Maybe it’s a surge in hoaxes. Regardless, I am truly bothered! Let’s start at a recent beginning.
War of the Worlds was one of the first hoaxes of our recent time, and definitely one of the most famous, or infamous. In a 1938 radio broadcast adaptation, that was narrated and directed by Orson Welles, a Martian invasion was depicted. The first two-thirds of the 60-minute broadcast were presented as a news bulletin and led to outrage and panic by some listeners who had believed the events described in the program were real.
Ok, causing mass hysteria and social upheaval is a little extreme, but it’s all in good fun right? I mean, in our world of instant gratification where anyone and everyone can put ANYTHING on the internet in various channels, we have to have a little thick skin right? I mean…my God…where is your sense of humor? It’s JUST a JOKE!
Not necessarily. Let me give you a few examples.
Betty White “dyed” in Los Angles….Oh no…Not Betty White! What an illustrious career from a sitcom staple to our favorite white-haired grandma. I loved her! I felt immediate sadness. After a quick google search it showed that this was a recurring scam/hoax and that she is famous for dying her own hair color at home. Hey man…NOT COOL!
National Geographic… the very next day! National Geographic…a dental office magazine staple. Famous for its incredible pictures and in-depth stories of faraway places. It always had a special place in my heart. I saw the picture of a tombstone on Facebook. Boy these truly are tough times…NOT! In fact, National geographic is a favorite of tricksters from Stonehenge, Dinosaurs, to the Loch Ness Monster.
Yes they got me two times.
Then the stories started to come like rapid fire, in the last two weeks alone: Cecil the Lion, who was just killed in Zimbabwe, was supposedly raised by my Fraternity Chapter in Colorado…NOT…Elton John (the famous Musician who is openly gay) got called personally by Putin (Russian president who is overtly against homosexuals in Russia)…yup, another hoax. Facebook is giving away all your personal postings from the beginning of time. That’s if you don’t copy and paste a declaration. Hoax! An Asteroid hitting the Earth on September 24, 2015 and coincides with the “Blood Moon”. We are still here! Patrick Kane, one of my Chicago Blackhawk (ice hockey) stars. He is accused of rape and someone put a tampered rape kit outside the victim’s house. Attorneys resigned and the integrity of the investigation was brought into question. They declared a hoax.
Seriously people…let’s stop here for a minute!
If someone is claiming that these are harmless or funny pranks with no one being affected, then they are not of this world. Every one of these caused pain, suffering, and either mental or financial damage in every instance. Imagine being the Producer of a show that Betty White is in, and you hear of her demise. Do you think that producer or the next producer will not think twice about the 93 year old’s situation. Real damage gets done! An athlete’s future, both financial and civil, is being played with, in regards to Patrick Kane. Elton John…well he IS Elton John…he will be ok.
It’s time that the pranksters are held accountable for the damage they do. Trust me…whether you look at it from a financial standpoint or a fan; it’s not funny!
Scott,your brilliant as ever!
Thank you Paul!