May 1, 2009

HOAX: Zombie Swine Flu

A hoax news story designed to look like an official BBC news page is claiming that those who have died of the swine flu have risen from the grave

After death, this virus is able to restart the heart of it’s victim for up to two hours after the initial demise of the person where the individual behaves in extremely violent ways from what is believe to be a combination of brain damage and a chemical released into blood during “resurrection.”

The story spread through Twitter in no small part thanks to Tweetme, a website that tracks the popularty of links on Twitter, which presenetd the story as legitmate. According to an Entertainment Weekly article about the hoax, it was "listed on Tweetmeme's homepage with this very misleading and official-looking moniker: BBC NEWS | Europe | EU quarantines London in swine flu panic. And it's right alongside actually legit BBC News stories, like this: BBC News | Health | What scientists know about swine flu"

"Braiiiins! Braaaiins and Tamiflu!"

The hoax plays the joke straight, dropping very few references to zombism in the piece, but when it does mention zombism treats the issue matter-of-factly. Hilariously, the story links to a previous hoax from 2005 claiming an outbreak of zombism in Cambodia.

I didn't post this originally when the link came across my desk because there is already WAY too much unscientific misinformation out there.