Five books to read to avoid falling victim to a hoax

Five books to read to avoid falling victim to a hoax
A conman's claim to have found Adolf Hitler's diaries was one of the greatest hoaxes of the past century. (Image: NZME)
The Economist
Humans are, and have long been, a credulous bunch. In 1844, Edgar Allan Poe published an article in the New York Sun about a man who had flown across the Atlantic in a balloon. Two days later, the newspaper fessed up (“We are inclined to believe that the intelligence is erroneous”), but not before its offices had been besieged by people wanting to know more. In 2009, a similarly inflated story – which caused American news networks to scramble their reporters – was released by a couple from Colorado who said the...

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