In one very confusing week last month, the Internet watched a single news story evolve from "Emma Watson threatened by 4chan" to "4chan impersonated by marketing firm" to "marketing firm turns out to be a bunch of spammers" -- making the entire ordeal a hoax of a hoax, and reality as we know it a buckling farce.

So what is real? Are we even real? It's hard to say anymore, which is why we've once again cobbled together a helpful guide on what in the news of the last few weeks was a big fat lie. Starting with ...

That Three Boobs Lady Has Two Boobs, Is a Liar

Here's a picture that you've probably seen a few times by now, and that you'll continue to see as a thumbnail on spammy sites for the rest of your life: the woman with three boobs.

6 BS News Stories That Went Viral: The Girl With Three Boobs
eonline.com

Woman With 'Three Boobs' Claims She Wants Men To Find Her Unattractive The Huffington Post Canada Posted: 09/22/2014 12.04 pm EDT I Updated: 09/22/201
huffingtonpost.ca

HOME WOMEN WOMEN'S LIFE 'I had a third breast implant SO I can turn off men' American Jasmine Tridevil, 21, claims she had plastic surgery to create a
telegraph.co.uk

Who apparently murdered someone in her shower moments before this picture was taken.

That's Telegraph, The Hollywood Reporter, E! Online, Huffington Post, and International Business Times reminding us that, like the ocean, the Internet is a vast chilly abyss that cradles unspeakable wonder as well as waking nightmares. We'll leave you to decide which category triple boobs fall under, because we honestly have no idea.

For those of you wondering if this means Martian mind-vacations are just around the corner, it shockingly turns out there are a few things off about this story. Like the fact that the woman has refused to name any of the doctors involved, won't show her new gift to the world for more than a quick few seconds up close, or that she once filed a missing baggage claim listing "3 breast prosthesis" as one of the stolen items. Also relevant? She once apparently described herself as a "provider of Internet hoaxes since 2014."

YES NO YES NO 13 DESCRITION ITY ee BiAK mdon Lotlie wmee Bae Fnmia Aaiting ALE o Saleeo CELS Mi Pmcansokh wl oumiss a thak Beusi 3 BREAST PRoSMESIS
via snopes.com

"One copy of How to Scam Dipshits on the Internet, paperback edition."

So, yeah, that's a hoax. Congratulations, news -- you gave a limelight-hungry weirdo with rubber tits the 15 minutes she wanted, all because doing a background check is way harder than slathering your front page with click-grabbing boobies and calling it a successful day.

People Aren't Actually Microwaving Their New iPhones

Hey, remember a year ago when the Internet thought "people dunking their iPhones in water to see if they're waterproof" was a real thing? Surely we've evolved as a species since then, right?

People Are Already Dropping, Microwaving Their iPhones
sfist.com

Gullible People Are Microwaving Their iPhones Because of a Twitter Prank, Don't Try This at Home Next year it'll be kinetic energy charging that power
themarysue.com

"Non-gullible, super-smart people reporting it."

Haha, nope! Just like the "waterproof phones" prank, the hoax we're debunking here isn't that you can recharge your iPhone by microwaving it (you can't), but rather the idea that people are stupid enough to actually try it. While there's always the possibility that a few soggy-brained socialites may have given it a whirl, the majority of Twitter posts that News.au, Metro, LA Times, PC Mag, International Business Times, and Mashable have been referring to are either from people who immediately revealed they were joking, or from people who shared pictures like these ...

I tried using the new IOS 8 feature WAVE where you can charge your phone with a microwave, does not work @Apple Reply 3 Retweat Favorte More .
twitter.com/Fallenbot

Omgggg that wave thing for ios 8 just blew my microwave up Reply 12 Reteat Favorte More
twitter.com/JordanBeeTheGee

"No, stupid. You have to cover it in tin foil to protect it. Duh."

... which already existed on the Internet years ago. So either those microwave explosions were so strong that they sent the phones back in time, or this whole thing is bullshit. We're not going to say that nobody has set their new iPhone to defrost, but it certainly isn't the widespread phenomenon we seem to want it to be.

And speaking of phone-related shenanigans ...

Those Secret Spy Cellphone Towers Aren't Actually Towers

The news turned into the beginning of a Tom Clancy novel last month thanks to the the following headlines:

Fake cellphone towers hiding in plain sight, intercepting your phone calls by Blly Steele Owmsteele Senterber Sth 2014 af a6 pm
engadget.com

"The government is very disappointed in you for missing Nana's birthday call."

Sweet fartbuckets! How could we miss giant illegal towers being erected in 17 different locations across the country? Are they invisible? Is Cobra Commander behind this operation? These are the questions that many asked as Business Insider, Yahoo, Newsweek, and Engadget reported on the story, often accompanying their headlines with "representative pictures" of giant, menacing towers ... but no photos of the actual towers in question.

Fake cellphone towers could be listening to your calls Francis D'Sa September 09 2014 19.09 pm IST 4 Like 239 Share 8- Sare 0 Toveet 8 in Share
deccanchronicle.com

You could have at least Photoshopped a pirate flag on that shit.

That's because nowhere in the original article does it say that any physical towers are being built -- the "phony cell towers" they're referring to are intercepting devices that could fit in your backpack, like computers and radios. But, thanks to the use of the word "tower" in the headline, news sites everywhere simply stopped there and scrambled over to Google Images for the rest of the story -- causing everyone to assume that the world was being attacked by some bizarre terrorist cell of steel-welding hacker ninjas.

No, CNN, China Isn't Trying Out Sidewalks for Cellphone Users

It's been roughly two decades since cellphones became a commonplace thing -- so why the hell are we still so mystified by these things that a new hoax about them pops up every week? Probably for the same reason that we still automatically believe every story that comes out of China, no matter how stupid. Here's the latest example:

Chinese City Launches Special Lane for Cellphone Addicts
blogs.wsj.com

Chinese city tests out sidewalk lanes for cellphone users
cnn.com

CNN now officially stands for "Chinese Nutty News."

All right, CNN -- let's go ahead and break down the headline that Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Forbes, and Fox have also gotten hold of. You say that a "Chinese city" is "testing out" sidewalk lanes specifically for cellphone users. All of that is correct ... if making a joke counts as "testing out" and a theme park counts as a "city." A park, incidentally, which also includes statues of Avatar characters, pyramid replicas, and "the largest bathroom in the world." As reported by CNN.

017s 10 RICHARD MADAUL MACAULEYONNOO
travel.cnn.com

EXTRA: China trying out polytheism, worshiping blue cat-gods.

Would this story get as much attention if the same thing was tried in, say, Washington? No, it wouldn't, and we know that because it actually was (for a reality show). That's where China got the idea. They were making fun of us. And, goddammit, it worked.

The "Mysterious and Deadly Respiratory Virus" Is Basically the Flu

As if atrocities like Ebola and Rob Schneider didn't already pose enough of a threat for the health of America's children, it appears that there's a new and mysterious virus that New York Post, Guardian, BuzzFeed, ABC, and USA Today really, really want us to lose our shit about:

Mystery respiratory illness affecting kids, teens spreading across parts of country
wpxi.com

HEALTH Rare, potentially deadly 'Enterovirus' hits thousands of kids across 10 states
wjla.com

"Soup, Saltines, and Sprite unable to combat menace."

Great, so when do we start eating people and walling off major cities? How are we looking on tidal-wave surfing as well? And what exactly is this "rare enterovirus" sending kids to the hospital? Well, according to most doctors, this "potentially deadly" illness is "potentially deadly" pretty much the same way a flu is ... in that this is basically just the flu. Its title of being an "enterovirus" is way less menacing when you consider that classification covers everything from SARS to polio to having a cold. As for the "mysterious" part: yes, it's pretty rare and the current clusters are unusual, but we've known about this thing since 1968, and although four people who've died recently were found to be carrying the virus, it's not clear whether it was even the primary cause of death.

In other words, much like every day of reckoning that the media has promised us, this one can be conquered with daytime game shows and some cinnamon toast.

Every Map of "The Most Popular _________ by State" Is Bullshit

Listen, Internet, we get the appeal of those "every state's top Google searches" maps. We do. Everyone loves finding out what stupid thing their home state can't stop Googling. Unfortunately, once again we're here to remind you that every single one of those maps is bullshit. See these?

Here Are The Most-Googled Brands In Each State The Huffington Post By Kevin Short Posted: 09/21/201435 pm SO Updated 09/29/20142 Dm En
huffingtonpost.com

McDonalds in lllinois, Kleenex in South Dakota and KFC in... Kentucky: Map reveals the most-Googled brands in every state
dailymail.co.uk

Most-Googled brands in Florida: Disney, UPS and Burger King
orlandosentinel.com

No way Discount Bail Bonds isn't in Florida's top three.

All poop. And these?

Most Googled food-related terms by state
jrn.com

What's The Most Popular Cocktail In Each State?
blog.estately.com

Like turtle meat? Head to this state, says US 'food map'
cnet.com

DeviantART is a state now?

Total poop. Sites like CNET, The Daily Mail, Huff Post, The Blaze, and NY Post just love these things, despite the fact that most of them come from the same handful of spammy real estate/marketing blogs and are ferociously untrue. Let's take a look at one:

TOP BRANDS PER STATE TOP 1 TOP2 TOP 3 IBM a A Klesaek TANE Go gle hp Gillefte OEUO SAMIL ALLEMOON Heinz M DURCELL Folgers Adobe YAHOO SKYY Fed ltatlts
blog.directcapital.com

Oregon is your aunt who goes on Google by Googling Google.

The creators claim that they took the top 200 companies in the U.S. and determined what state they're most popular in by using the mysterious arcane magic of Google Trends. Let's see what happens when we try to verify their results by searching for Coca-Cola:

Regional interest SoregionlMe Worsiter Let Sales Georgia 100 Alabarma S4 Noh Carolina 49 Mssissippi 49 Souh Carolina 47 Temessee 46 Leuinsiana 46 Ven
Google Trends

Interest over time Nies eadines Forecast AMMAMAM Note 2013 D
Google Trends

Looks like Georgia is in the top spot. So why then, on the map, is Home Depot on the Georgia spot, while Coke is sitting up in Virginia?

wert DURACEI HELLMANN'S Fed illoilis rarto Marni ciscO Walmeart CVS Cheven a ebay IOMEE DEPE atat
blog.directcapital.com

Why is Home Depot anywhere?

Is it because Georgia likes Home Depot more than Coke? Actually, no, not even a little bit:

Interest over time News headiines Forecast WHMHMWUNMMwM Note Average Sh 2009 2011 2013 (/
Google Trends

Coke in blue, Depot in the red.

And while it's true that if you search for "The Home Depot" Georgia is the clear winner (by a far smaller margin than Coca-Cola), but remove that introductory "the" from the hardware chain's name and the story changes:

Regional interest SubrogionlMetrole Wiorlswide Linted States New Hampshire 100 Florida 100 Connecticut 100 Georgia 100 Arizona 99 Colorado 97 New Jers
Google Trends

So why is New Hampshire suddenly the Home Depot champion instead of Georgia? Why is Coke on Virginia, when Virginia appears to care more about Facebook and YouTube? Because the methodology is total clown dicks, that's why. A map showing the four or five companies that actually rule the country wouldn't be very interesting, but make New Jersey look like it can't get enough Hellmann's Mayonnaise and suddenly everyone is clicking on your ad-bloated blog spam. Incidentally, we searched "clown dick":

Regional interest Regionl City United States 100 View change over time S S
Google Trends

U-S-A! U-S-A!


Do you know of a bullshit news story and/or actually have three breasts? Contact David on Twitter immediately.

For more stunning examples of internet gullibility, see 4 Reasons Facebook Is Actually Making the World Less Stupid and 4 Ways Gross Cultural Ignorance Just Made the News Hilarious.

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