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How Do I Avoid Internet Hoaxes on April Fool’s Day

March 28, 2012  |  Difficulty: Easy

April Fool’s Day etiquette

April Fools' Day, or All Fool’s Day, has been celebrated since the 16th century in many countries all around the world, but in different ways. This day is not a national holiday, but is widely recognized and celebrated as a day when many people play all kinds of jokes and tricks on others, and the day is April 1st every year. The day is marked by the commission of good-humored or otherwise funny jokes, hoaxes, and practical jokes of varying sophistication on friends, family members, teachers, neighbors, work associates, etc. Traditionally, in some countries such as Canada, New Zealand, the UK, Australia, Cyprus, and South Africa, the jokes only last until noon, and someone who plays a trick after noon is called an "April Fool."

April Fool’s Day is unfortunately connected to various pranks of petty malice, for example, journalists tend to go beyond the tradition of seriousness and release hoaxes that may confuse the public. This, of course, becomes problematic when people no longer trust articles that are intended to actually bring them important information. Read below for some April Fool’s Day etiquette and a list of websites with information that may help you to distinguish if any information you encounter this year is a hoax or not.

5 tips for avoiding an April Fool’s Day hoax:

  1. At first, try to wake up and remember the day is April first and keep it in your mind all the day long, throughout your all daily activities.
  2. On this particular day think twice and double check all information that’s important to you, for instance, try to get two sources of the same story.
  3. Avoid conversations that begin with someone saying, "Guess what!" or "Check this out!"
  4. Resist the urge to play pranks on others. If you don't want to be fooled yourself, don't give others a reason to retaliate by pulling pranks on you. Remember that revenge is always sweet.
  5. Visit websites that share information about traditional hoaxes from history and try to learn from them.
    Websites examples:
    - Museum Of Hoaxes – Top 100 April Fool’s Day Hoaxes of All Time
    - April Fools' Day On The Web
    - The Telegraph - Top 10 April Fool's Day hoaxes 2011

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