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.
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."

"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?
"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, 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 ...
"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:
"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.
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:
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.
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:
"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?
No way Discount Bail Bonds isn't in Florida's top three.

All poop. And these?
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:
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:

Google Trends

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?
Why is Home Depot anywhere?

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

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:

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":

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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