Internet pranks, hoaxes, and jokes

Secretly, I’m not a huge fan of April Fool’s Day.  It’s the only holiday where being kind of mean to somebody counts as “celebrating” and, quite frankly, I don’t like jerks.  Snopes.com collected several theories on the origin of the holiday, most having to do with old calendars and spring– nothing too exciting there.  Fast Company, a magazine dedicated to creative business practices, included an article on how a company’s creative use of April Fool’s Day and humor can improve brand image.

This year there is lots of concern about a malevolent April Fool’s Day computer worm (Conficker)– nothing funny about that.  Still, the Internet is an especially great place to play jokes on people and many of the big-name websites have gotten in on the April Fool’s action: Google almost always does something and YouTube did Rickroll all the videos on their front page last year.

In honnor of April Fool’s Day, actually my least favorite holiday, I thought it’d be nice to do a round up of some great hoaxes/pranks/jokes.  I’m going to leave out things like ponzi schemes and the Nigerians trying to give away $10,000 since those aren’t really “funny” or lighthearted.  This list is hardly exhaustive and not even really all that scientific, just some of my favorite jokes or tricks.

If you’re interested in this kind of thing, you might also want to check out the Museum of Hoaxes.  Leave your favorite tricks and jokes in the comments!  Good luck out there, April Fool’s Day requires constant vigilance people!

Ashley Bowen

Ashley Bowen is a former CCT Graduate Student.