Let's face it. A lot of us get most of our news while killing time on Twitter and Facebook, not by tuning in to CNN or poring over the Times. You'd think that having proximity to Google and Wikipedia would prompt people to fact-check said news, but that's not always the case. One person tweets that X celebrity has died and countless obituaries are posted before anyone bothers to check for a pulse. Just ask Justin Bieber or Lil Wayne — both of them supposedly died this year.
Of course, you can't really fault people who fall for every gossip-mongering headline they come across. If nothing else, 2014 has proved that the truth really is stranger than fiction sometimes. Hello — North Korea is having a fit over a James Franco movie, and Cameron Diaz is marrying the guy from Good Charlotte. By that standard, we'd believe almost anything.
These 2014 viral hoaxes, however, may make you want to think twice first. Just because it's trending doesn't mean it's true.