We considered doing our own April Fool’s story, but ultimately decided against it because, let’s be honest, they’re rubbish… unless you’re elgooG and can spend a lot of time, effort and money to get them “just right”.
So instead, we came up with these handy steps that, if followed, should help you avoid being suckered in by today’s inevitable glut of stories designed to dupe.
- Read everything very carefully; if a headline sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If it’s genuinely exciting, it’s a lie. If it’s something you’ve wanted to see happen for years and years and years, it’s more than likely not true and warrants further investigation.
- In today’s world, the news isn’t exciting (bad – yes, exciting – no), so when a thrilling headline appears your default stance should rather be “Oh is it?” than “That’s so awesome!” That remains true of every day of the year, but especially this one.
- Should you find a suspect headline, plug it into Google, or head over to Snopes.com to check how true it might be. Snopes has a great reputation for debunking internet ridiculousness, and is a solid source of accurate information on a wide range of hoaxes, pranks and April Fool’s jokes.
With that out of the way, we thought we’d round up some of the internet’s better April Fool’s pranks, just so you can see the kind of things people have been falling for all morning. But not you, of course.
- Google reversed its homepage entirely, including the URL.
- Play Pac-Man on Google Maps – Plugin turns Google Maps into a Pac-Man level.
- Onedayonly’s R99.99 “Medical Marijuana” sale.
- MyBroadband launches DSTV competitor that gives subscribers access to all of the overseas shows currently not available in SA via Hulu, Netflix and other services.
- PlayStation Flow, a new wearable from Sony that lets gamers “play” underwater sections of their games by swimming in a pool wearing a set of high-tech goggles.
- Steve Hofmeyr joins the EFF as a special advisor (via The Daily Maverick’s morning newsletter).
- Jeremy Clarkson to become a special advisor on transport to David Cameron.
What stories have you spotted that you think should be on the list? Feel free to hit us up with a link.
UPDATE: We’ve been alerted by a reader that the addition of Pac-man to Google Maps is not actually an April Fool’s joke, and that it doesn’t work on Google Maps Classic. Pocket-lint.com backs that up with an article titled ” Google Maps Pac-Man is not an April Fools’ joke, it’s a gift from Google“. Thanks, Andre!