Google+ Consumer Psyche: Indian newspapers fall for baroque Nazi war criminal hoax

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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Indian newspapers fall for baroque Nazi war criminal hoax

The Pen Pricks, who run a blog skewering the Goan press, promised readers on Sunday they were about to break a “big, Big, BIg, BIG” story. It looks like they succeeded. Still, it should not take pranksters to remind us that gullibility is a dangerous flaw in journalism.

It takes Google only 0.13 seconds to establish that the Marsha Tikash Whanaab concentration camp at which Bach was apparently posted does not exist. The Express reporter, at least, telephoned the German embassy and Indian police for comment. The fact they had no idea what the reporter was talking about did not deter publication. Only the
Times of India gave even a hint that it smelt something fishy, but ran a story all the same.

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