Hoax Central, May 2013 edition

In this edition of Hoax Central we review hoaxes spawned by the Boston Marathon bombing, evaluate Joel Osteen’s religious identify crisis, debunk a sexually transmitted disease, and learn the true story beyond Mr. Roger’s advice to “look for the helpers” during a crisis.


The Waffle Truth: This hoax claims that a new sexually transmitted disease called “Blue Waffle” is rapidly spreading.

Elaborate hoax: No, Joel Osteen has not renounced his faith: A fake web site with a name very similar to Joel Osteein’s name has led some to mistakingly believe that the megachurch pastor has renounced religion.

Bumper Sticker Layoffs: A politically-tinged hoax claims that when faced with rising costs because of the Obama Administration, a business owner decided to layoff employees based on whether they had a “Obama for President” bumper stickers.

5 viral stories about Boston attacks that aren’t true: News of the Boston Marathon bombing quickly spread across social media. The truth, however, was occasionally overwhelmed by fabrications.

True Stories

Scary News: One of the true stories that came out of the Boston Marathon was about the venerable Mr. Roger recounting his mother’s advice to “look for the helpers” during scary events: the people who help during a crisis.

Social media stole my daughter’s identity: Another example of why you should avoid those those “Like this image if you love your mother” posts in Facebook; in many cases they’re just link bait used by unsavory marketers.

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