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Brokencyde Get Hoaxed, Internet Rushes To Judge

Ben Patashnik
Ben Patashnik 20 July 2010 at 17.35

Canadian student sets up elaborately fake TMZ homepage to fool a lot of idiots. Idiots then spout shit all over the internet. Awesome. Well done, internet.

The internet threw a typical shit-fit today when an enterprising student from Canada set up a fake version of entertainment website TMZ's frontpage to claim Brokencyde had done some very, very naughty things indeed.

The site, which is still online [at time of writing: 12.40pm, Tuesday July 20] at, made the false allegations that the band had been arrested on charges of child pornography, rape and drug use.

However, as anyone with half a brain could see, TMZ's frontpage has a different web address, the design and writing style of the article were subtly different and there were no actual sources for any of the 'facts'. That didn't stop several news outlets from printing the allegations almost as fact, however. We might be in a digital age, people, but that doesn't mean facts are any less important.

And here's the strangest thing: people rushed to condemn Brokencyde without first checking any facts! I know - what a surprise! Granted, such witchhunts NEVER happen online because the internet is a calm place where rationality and fairness reign. Or, it's where cyber lynch-mobs roam around Facebook and Twitter calling bands they don't like rapists and perverts.

Following the links back up the digital rabbit-hole, the perpetrator of the hoax appeared to be a hacker whose Twitter bio reads "I get in trouble for hacking things". Yup.

EDIT: Since posting this, several people have suggested this is either an attack on Rock Sound's readers, on Brokencyde themselves or a snide kick at the internet in general. It's none of these things - it's a backhanded way of saying 'Come on, internet, do things better'. After the horrendous behaviour of people rushing to proclaim Ronnie James Dio dead before he actually died - because they wanted to be firstfirstfirst - or the unsavoury details floating around in the wake of Paul Gray's death, seeing yet another story explode over the course of a lunchtime without anyone taking the time to think for a second whether the band in question were even on tour was just depressing. So to anyone who felt like I was having a dig at them, it was entirely unintentional and aimed at a wider problem (the cyber lynch mobs) rather than any one person. The reason this was reported wasn't because of the allegations but because of the subsequent backlash: the story was the fact there was no real story but people didn't stop to question that, simply because Brokencyde are a band people love to hate. Anyone who thinks the piece went too far can email me and I'll respond ASAP.

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