A hoaxer who has promoted fake rumors about “Fallout 4” has spoke about why he does it.
“Generally, most people on the internet are gullible, and fall for most things,” the hoaxer, calling himself Jesse, told Kotaku recently. “This is how I get rumors to spread. All it takes is one person to see it, believe it, and tell his friends. Some of his friends believe it, and they tell all their friends. Before you know it, it goes viral.”
Jessee started a rumor that a new “Fallout” game was revealed secretly at the E3 convention earlier this month. He spread a hoax memo about it.
“Even within minutes of posting nonsense, you’ll get hits,” said Jesse. “I then have a false account tweet a link or two, occasionally use the false Facebook account to post on a few people’s walls. From there, if it’s plausible, it spreads and gets picked up by small sites. At this point Google picks it up as one of the first results. If you searched ‘Fallout 4’ right now, within the first page are several references to the memo.”
The most well-publicized “Fallout 4” hoax was carried out late last year when the Survivor 2299 website tricked many Reddit users into thinking the game would be revealed soon.
Jesse’s statements hold a lot of truth, as seemingly ridiculous fake news stories go viral each day, with a large number of people apparently believing in them.
As of Wednesday, viral hoaxes posted on legitimate-looking news sites included one about an “unborn baby becoming pregnant,” one about the drinking age being raised to 25, and another saying Oprah Winfrey bailed Jeremy Meeks out of jail. In total, the fake stories have more than 1 million “likes” and shares on Facebook.