April Fools’ Day warning: Beware of fake news!

It’s the one day each year that actually celebrates fake news. April Fools’ Day (sometimes called All Fools’ Day) is an annual celebration in some European and Western countries, commemorated on April 1 by playing practical jokes and spreading hoaxes.

Have you heard of the latest innovations: Whopper Toothpaste, Google Gnome or Domino’s Heat Wave Letter Box, to name a few? Some of the most hilarious pranks throughout history have come in the form of fake headlines and videos that have been produced and distributed on April 1.

Below is one of the Toronto Star’s most famous hoaxes – a photo with cutline that appeared on the front page of its April 1, 1982 edition:

A cruel joke for die-hard fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs: Speculation that the-then penny-pinching owner of the Leafs (Harold Ballard) was willing to pay up to acquire a young hockey phenom named Wayne Gretzky. 

A cruel joke for die-hard fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs: Speculation that the-then penny-pinching owner of the Leafs (Harold Ballard) was willing to pay up to acquire a young hockey phenom named Wayne Gretzky.

 

Each April Fools’ Day, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Google are filled with endless videos of practical jokes, hoaxes, pranks and memes.

So, if you’re the kind of person who appreciates swapping a shaker of salt with sugar, spreading a little shaving foam in someone’s shoes or drawing a moustache on someone while they’re asleep, you may get a little leniency if you pull it off on April Fools’ Day. Beware though: the workplace may not be the best place to try your attempt at humour or test the patience of co-workers.

A story that is worthy of an April Fools’ Day hoax but may be real is Donald Trump musing about meeting with North Korean President Kim Jong Un in the near future. Sometimes truth really is stranger than fiction.

Practise safe pranking everyone!