Fake swine flu site warning

Read this very convincing joke (I’m assuming) article. It looks perfectly normal, and even has links to the BBC along the sides and the BBC logo on top. Also, typing in the root of the web address redirects to BBC’s main page. Hmmm… Anyway, notice a paragraph out of place?

After death, this [H1N1] 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.”

Now, I’m no doctor, but…that sounds a bit fishy. Also, it is completely out of place with the rest of the article, which simply describes the current outbreak pattern and WHO raising the “scary freak out infection level” to an ominous “six”.

The article’s title is “EU quarantines London in flu panic”, which they don’t actually discuss directly. Hmm, that’s odd… Incidentally, just to be clear, I have found no corroborating stories suggesting that London is really quarantined.

Then, the bolded sub-title article “summary” is:

There has been a small outbreak of “zombism” in London due to mutation of the H1N1 virus into new strain: H1Z1.

It’s almost like they accidentally mashed together 2 different articles. One a plot summary of 28 Days Later, and one an actual news story. So on first glance, it looks like you’re reading news and then, the rational thinker goes “wait”. Unfortunately…well we all know how many rational people there are out there. And how many people know how to use the interwebs and wouldn’t notice the URL difference.

It would have been a funnier joke if it were written Onion style and they just owned the joke, but it seems like it’s just a few paragraphs of nonsense mixed in with boring normalcy. That says to me “malicious” rather than “funny” intent.

Finally, the cherry on top (well actually near the end in a box labeled “what to do” with a few other items):

If you feel yourself passing away, then notice your strength and vigor returning at an alarming rate, please attempt to restrain yourself to prevent infection and harm to others.

And the advisory:

Have you been affected by the zombie strain of swine flu? You can send your experiences using the form below. You can also send your questions about the decision to raise the alert and we will send it to our health experts.

Buh? I don’t even know.

I’d laugh, but it’s not funny and a dollar says one of my friends tells me about this tomorrow for serious.


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