Hoax Phenomenon

Nowadays, in this information technology era, everybody are able to get any information with a very simple action, or even without taking an action! The positive side, we always up to date with the latest global issue and have a wider knowledge by getting many information. But, one of the negative effect that occurs is that we can easily be provoked by the hoax which scattered through electronics media.

Hoax itself means deliberately fabricated falsehood made to masquerade as truth. It is distinguishable from errors in observation or judgment, or rumors and urban legends that are passed along in good faith by believers or as jokes.


In my country, Indonesia, I’ve heard and found many kind of hoax. From the internet, for example; Facebook, Twitter, Kaskus, and many other irresponsible sites. This lies are easily spread trough internet media, and unfortunately many people believe it is so easy then pass it back to other friends. This evil chain brings many bad influence on people. They easily get scared with many unimportant things.

The other media is Blackberry Messenger (BBM). Along with the increasing of Blackberry users in Indonesia since 2008, news spread through BBM even more intense. It also increase the spreads of hoax. Let me tell you some those stupid messages :

1. Progesterex issues

“A woman at a nightclub called _______ on Saturday night was taken by 5 men, who according to hospital and police reports, gang raped her before dumping her. Unable to remember the events of the evening, tests later confirmed the repeat rapes along with traces of Rohypnol in her blood and Progesterex, essentially a small sterilization pill. The drug is now being used by rapists at parties to rape AND sterilize their victims. Progesterex is available to vets to sterilize large animals. Progesterex is being used together with Rohypnol, the date rape drug. As with Rohypnol, all they have to do is drop it into the girl’s drink. The girl can’t remember a thing the next morning, of all that had taken place the night before. Progesterex, which dissolves in drinks just as easily, is such that the victim doesn’t conceive from the rape and the rapist needn’t worry about having a paternity test identifying him months later. The drug’s effects ARE NOT TEMPORARY – Progesterex was designed to sterilize horses. Any female who takes it WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO CONCEIVE.. The weasels can get this drug from anyone who is in the vet school or any university. It’s that easy, and Progesterex is about to break out big on campuses everywhere. Believe it or not, there are even sites on the Internet telling people how to use it. Please forward this to everyone you know, especially girls. Be careful when you’re out and don’t leave your drink unattended. Please make the effort to forward this on to all you know. Guys, please inform all your female friends and relatives.”

After I search in the internet about what the Progesterex is, every site I found tells that it’s just a fictitious date rape. It is part of a hoax that began to circulate in 1999 via e-mail on the internet. No actual drug by this name or even with these properties exists, and no such incident has ever been documented or confirmed.The most high-profile person falling for the hoax was British MP Lynne Featherstone who asked a question about the fake drug in Parliament.


2. Issues that Blackberry server is overload

“Hello, greetings from RIM (Research In Motion) proprietors of BlackBerry. This message is to inform all of our users, that our servers have recently been really full, so we are asking for your help to fix this problem. We need our active users to re-send this message to everyone on your contact list in order to confirm our active users that use BlackBerry Messenger, if you do not send this message to all your BlackBerry Messenger contacts then your account will remain inactive with the consequence of losing all your contacts.

We apologize for the inconvenience but this is the only way possible to resolve this problem. Sincerely Research in Motion. For more information visit:

Message circulating via BlackBerry Messenger, purporting to be from Research In Motion (RIM), claims that, due to a server problem, the recipient must resend the message to all his or her contacts or the account will remain inactive and contact information will be lost. This is the most stupid message ever! Actually, when Friendster is booming in Indonesia, there are many message like that came through our inbox. Is that possible that our account will be classified as an inactive account if we don’t forward that message through all of our contacts? The fact is, if everybody keeps forwarding that message, the data transportation in the server will be more and more overload by that stupid message! I never forward if I got that message, and the result is, my Blackberry (and also my Friendster) is works as usual! Be assured that the BBM is a means of communication provided by a Blackberry without a mechanism for an automated message from both RIM and the provider.


3. Issue of providing pin number in reverse

“If your life is in danger because of being robbed / mugged someone to spend money from the atm, then you can ask for help in secret by providing pin number in reverse, ie no original input your pin is 1254 atm 4521 on the engine will spend your money is also a sign of danger to the police station without the knowledge of these thieves.This facility is available at all atm but few people know please tell to others. “

This hoax is likely to be developed from local laws of the State of Illinois, United States of SB 562 which defines such a system, although not require. This system is also written in the plan district regulations SB 379 the state of Georgia that has not ratified, and the last on the state of Kansas local regulations SB 333 that failed to apply.

Joseph Zinger, of Chicago, a person trying to sell the idea atm pin upside down on top with SafetyPin name in 1994, never succeeded in doing so.

Moreover, if a bank actually apply the system, the first thing to do is notify their customers will be the feature is and how to use it. In fact, if it really useful to improve security for its customers, of course, will not take long for the banks to immediately apply the system.

According a respondent – who have never tried it directly by itself to Bank Mandiri and BCA ATM, but ATM machines only issue an error message that pins one and not one policeman who came to him – that:
In essence, there are laws that define this kind of system, but not require, or the law itself does not or is not valid. To my knowledge, there are no ATMs that implement such systems.


To be safe, here are some tips that can reduce these false news:

Beside the ones I’ve mentioned above, there are still many stupid messages that can make us worry or even panic. Do not believe and do not spread that kind of message. If you get one, clarified it by search from the internet or get another information carefully.

Do not spread and do not easily fall for the issue of racial intolerance. Some cases that we’ve learned there are some messages that convey jokes related to racial issue. Beware of things like this and please do not have to be deployed. In addition to its potential to become a bigger problem, will also be very embarrassing for us if we spread jokes contain racial issue.

Hopefully this article can reduce the spread of news hoaxes that circulate in our social life.



About Pradini Puspitaningayu

a big, big, big dreamer

Posted on May 13, 2011, in Knowledge. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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