ByPeter DiDonato, writer at
A night owl that writes what comes to mind. You can follow me on Twitter at @didonatope or visit my blog at
Peter DiDonato

Okay internet, we need to talk...Not everything that claims to be leaked is worth reporting on. Take for example this "ridiculous" Spider-Man cast list that Punk'd its way onto several websites.

Because of the get-it-done-yesterday attitude of the 24-hour news cycle, many sites have reported on this image. Comicvine, MovieWeb, and Clevver have all reported on this image. Unfortunately for them, the fact that Liz Allan's name is spelled incorrectly is kind of a dead giveaway. What is troubling to me is how quick these websites reported on this image. While none of these websites reported that the list was official, it's a wonder why something so obviously fake-looking was even worth considering to be real.

Earlier this year, we've seen hoaxes surrounding a Spider-Man post-credits scene in Avengers: Age of Ultron and a "leaked" picture of Harley Quinn and the Joker from Suicide Squad. These hoaxes had true effort put into them, so it was easy to understand why many people fell for them. These hoaxes involved talented makeup artists and editors, where all this hoax involved was a copy of Microsoft Word and a smart phone camera.

Pretty much anybody could create a hoax like this. In fact, I'll do it right now:

On the bright side, I give the creator of this simple hoax credit for proving a point. To put it bluntly, people these days are way too gullible. We live in a world where the simplest of rumors can blow up Twitter accounts without any confirmation from the studio. Because most leaks are revealed through crude photography, people are conditioned to look at something like this cast list and immediately consider that it could be real. When it comes to hyped projects like the upcoming Spider-Man movie, some people are willing to eat up any information that they can find.

Where does it end though? Where do we draw the line on what we should consider to be real? All jokes aside, if I changed the names on my fake cast list and anonymously posted it on Imgur, would it get reported on Clevver too? Does it take any effort at all to create a hoax?


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