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Fake websites or spoof websites. Examples of false sites to aid in evaluating internet resources

Introduction to fake websites

Librarians and educators need to be able to illustrate to students and users alike that websites cannot always be trusted to provide truthful and accurate data. This page provides examples of websites that are full of lies, inaccuracies or false information - either for amusement or for more worrying reasons. The list does not include phishing sites however; these are intended to fool a person into believing that they are visiting a legitimate bank site for example; there are already plenty of links to these online already.


Fake websites - scientific and commercial


All of the following websites are, to the best of my knowledge fake sites, spoof sites or parodies of 'real' sites. This is by no means a complete collection, nor should it be regarded as definitive. I have tried when possible to indicate if the site is suitable for minors, or if it contains material which viewers may find offensive. However, it is your responsibility to gauge the appropriateness or otherwise of the sites yourself, particularly if you intend to use them for educational purposes.


Sites are arranged in subject groupings, with what I consider to be the most credible examples at the top; hopefully this will help when you come to choose examples for yourself or students. If you find any that no longer exist, or you have other examples, please email me.

This page contains examples of scientific and commercial sites. There is a second fake or spoof page that looks at examples in the area of Historical, social, academic, religious, travel/tourism and politics, among others. If you are concerned about your children, you may wish to consider ensuring child internet safety software for their welfare.


Please note however that I cannot tell you if a site is a fake or spoof site. Please do not ask me to arbitrate on your behalf. Please do not email me and ask me to tell you if a site is fake.


Dihydrogen Monoxide

Sounds like a very dangerous chemical indeed. It's actually H2O, but if you're not of a scientific mind this site will get you every time.

Type: Scientific

Credibility? 10/10

Child safe? Yes


Genochoice

Prenatal genetics to eliminate various genetic traits in unborn children.Part of the RYT Hospital-Dwayne Medical Center which gives it added credibility.

Type: Scientific

Credibility? 10/10

Child safe? Yes


Save the Tree Octopus

Very well put together site and perfectly believable.

Type: Scientific

Credibility? 10/10

Child safe? Yes


RYT Hospital

Well put together website, linking into a number of other spoof sites, and from a quick view looks entirely bono fide.

Type: Scientific

Credibility? 9/10

Child safe? Yes


The Ova Prima Foundation

This site has scientific 'proof' that the egg came first. Very well done, with todays date, various sections and very academic looking.

Type: Scientific

Credibility? 9/10

Child safe? Yes


Hetracil

Commercial site supposedly selling Hetracil as an 'anti-effeminant' drug. The FAQ is particularly well done.

Type: Scientific

Credibility? 9/10

Child safe? Yes


Havidol

This is another scientific drug site, which looks very impressive at first site.

Type: Scientific

Credibility? 9/10

Child safe? Yes


Male Pregnancy

Another of the RYT linked sites.

Type: Scientific

Credibility? 7/10

Child safe? Yes


The Museum of Jurassic Technology

Museum parody site; very dry and dusty.

Type: Scientific

Credibility? 7/10

Child safe? 16+


Save the Guinea Worm

Well put together site, very credible, but the URL gives the game away.

Type: Scientific

Credibility? 6/10

Child safe? Yes


Online Pregnancy Test

This shouldn't really fool people, but I suspect that it does. You may need to try and be scanned twice to confirm that you are actually pregnant.

Type: Scientific

Credibility? 5/10

Child safe? 14+


Bonsai Kittens

Although this is a fake site, it does 'show' kittens in small jars which is quite upsetting, even though it's obviously photoshopped. The original site was taken down and this is a replacement.

Type: Scientific

Credibility? 8/10

Child Safe? 16+


Music Fauns

A plastic surgery type of site, promising to give pointed ears for better experiencing music. I think it's a fake. I hope it's a fake!

Type: Scientific

Credibility? 10/10

Child safe? Yes


The Institute of Delicious Whale Research

Lots of interesting information about whales.

Type: Scientific

Credibility? 6/10 due to being dated

Childsafe? Yes



Save the Rennets

Rennets are small hamster like rodents which are intensively factory farmed and slaughtered for the production of cheese.

Type: Scientific

Credibility? 8/10

Child Safe? 11+


The Dangers of Bread

Amusing, spoof single page.

Type: Scientific

Credibility? 3/10

Child Safe? Yes


Aluminum Foil Deflector Beanie

"An effective, low cost solution to combating mind-control" Well put together site, with a lot of humour.

Type: Scientific

Credibility? 5/10

Child Safe? Yes


Feline reactions to bearded men

The URL rather gives the game away, but it's quite amusing.

Type: Scientific

Credibility? 4/10

Child Safe? Yes


Commercial


Floral Sculpture Clinic

This is close to be entirely possible. The site offers to sell you items that can be inserted under the skin and onto the bone to create sculpture under the skin. It's another of those 'probably not true, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was' sites.

Type: Commercial

Credibility? 10/10

Child safe? Yes


Pets or Food

A supposedly commercial site selling exotic animals for food. This is very well done, and has a semi working ordering system.

Type: Commercial

Credibility? 10/10

Child safe? May upset younger children


Petrol Direct

Buy your petrol direct and have it delivered. It sounds like a sensible deal.

Type: Commercial

Credibility? 8/10

Child safe? Yes


Telco Powered Products

A range of products that are powered by the electricity you get from the telephone point. Sounds credible, although the site design isn't that professional, but it's good enough.

Type: Commercial

Credibility? 7/10

Child safe? Yes


Dehydrated water

A commercial website selling dehydrated water. Very well put together.

Type: Commercial

Credibility? 7/10

Child safe? Yes


FlikFX Digital Recomposition System

A system to digitally remove white space in movies to make the suitable for television viewing. Not terribly believable, and the screen shots are not of a high quality, but it's reasonably well done.

Type: Commercial

Credibility? 4/10

Child safe? Yes


Real Hamster

A stuffed, toy hamster used as a sex aid. (No, really!)

Type: Commercial

Credibility? ?/10

Child safe? Adult Only


Furnetics

The world's only provider of customized genetic body modification solutions. Looks top notch.

Type:Commercial

Credibility? 9/10

Childsafe? Yes


Funky Shoes

Shoes with a past life. Shoes with karma. Shoes with history and character. Perhaps.

Type: Commercial

Credibility? 4/10

Child Safe? Yes


Velcro Crop Failures

This site is dated to 1993 and has the look of a very early site as well. Content is obvious from the title. Fairly dry and boring.

Type: Commercial

Credibility? 6/10

Child Safe? Yes