A series of silly hacker hoaxes have been rocketing around the Interwebs in recent weeks, duping many users as they travel.
These hoax messages warn you not to accept a friend request from a particular person because the person is a hacker. Supposedly, if you do accept the friend request, the hacker can take control of your computer.
A recent version of the hoax, which named one ‘Jaden K. Smith’ as the supposed hacker, went viral, inundating social media feeds the world over and causing considerable concern. After the furore had died down, a series of jokes and memes that riffed on the hacker hoaxes began circulating.
One of these little memes has caused a good deal of confusion. A number of people have contacted me to ask about it. The message warns you not to accept a request from Lizzie Borden because you will get hacked. For those who know who Lizzie Borden is, the joke is immediately obvious, if a little macabre. But, apparently, there are a lot of people who don’t recognise the name, Lizzie Borden and therefore don’t get the joke.
Lizzie Borden was a young American woman who was accused of killing her father and stepmother with an axe in Fall River, Massachusetts in 1892. That is, she was accused of hacking them to death, hence the ‘hacked’ joke. Lizzie Borden was later acquitted, but the grisly murders and the ongoing controversy that surrounded them resonated with the general public and the case became famous, not only in the United States but around the world.
In fact, I remember a poem about the case from my own childhood in Australia:
Lizzie Borden took an axe
And gave her mother forty whacks.
When she saw what she had done,
She gave her father forty-one.
Importance NoticeAfter considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.
These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.
Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.
And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.
When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.
I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.
A Big Thank YouI would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.
I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.
Closing DateHoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.
Thank you, one and all!