Even the Pope can fall for fake news in our rush to have a say

The story that a teenage girl had died by legal euthanasia in the Netherlands was entirely untrue. But that didn’t stop it spreading around the world

Elaine Byrne - avatar

Elaine Byrne

9th June, 2019

The 1835 Great Moon Hoax gripped the English speaking world. The New York Sun published several sensational stories about men with bat wings, unicorns and bipedal beavers spotted on the surface of the moon through the super powerful telescope of the acclaimed English astronomer John Herschel.

This deliberate spread of misinformation by the New York Sun ballooned its sales to make it the most popular newspaper in the world.

The hoax succeeded because it had unwitting...

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