Anybody can post anything on the Internet

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Long before the autopsy, London police could guess what killed Yuri Gadyukin. When they pulled his body from the river beneath the Hammersmith Bridge on July 26, 1960, they saw a bullet-sized hole that had ripped apart his skull.

Authorities had been searching for the Russian director for weeks.  By the time they yanked him from the Thames, they’d surely heard rumors percolating down through country’s film community of catastrophic arguments on the set of his latest film, The Graven Idol, between Gadyukin and the film’s star, Harry Weathers.  Others whispered that Gadyukin owed money to a local gangster—cash he’d used to finance the film.

Perhaps you’ve heard of Gadyukin?  He was a star of early Soviet cinema before fleeing to England.  You can read about his life on a fansite and a Facebook group.  You can watch him melt down in a British television interview, storming off stage in spittle-spewing rage.  For nearly four years, there were Wikipedia and Internet Movie Database articles about him, brimming with citations from authoritative Russian sources.

Those entries are now gone.  Yuri Gadyukin did not owe money to a gangster.  His final film was not swirling out of control.  Weathers did not kill him.  His body was not found beneath the Hammersmith Bridge.

Gadyukin never died, in fact, because he never existed.

For the full story, click on Behind The greatest Wikipedia hoax ever pulled by Kevin Morris for The Verge  [Hat tip to naked capitalism]

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One Response to “Anybody can post anything on the Internet”

  1. williambearcat Says:

    I could easily be fooled. Does remind me of a student teacher I had who created in hls social studies class a story of Dinaro Duck, ( a basis for Donald Duck by Disney) whose tribe was located in Northern NY. He had the students doing a tribal dance involving duck walking. Convinced the students of course and a couple of teachers who observed the lesson. The lesson was to point out the value of checking sources.

    Like

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