Facebook and Whatsapp have been awash with a message from “BBC news” that United kingdom has removed the Visa requirement for Zimbabwean passport holders wishing to travel to the United Kingdom.
In a statement, the message said that “The home office has announced that effective 2nd July 2014, Zimbabwean passport holders will no longer be required to apply for a visa or entry clearance to enter the United Kingdom. The agreement was reached by Prime Minister David Cameron and members of the UK Government”
By Toneo Tonderai Rutsito
To most Zimbabweans who really desperately wanted this embargo lifted, they have take the news with so much celebrations, pomp and fare quickly sharing the message on social networks, and as i write this article, it has been shared more than 78 529.
So a friend also shared the same message and quickly hit my facebook wall and in no time the message had attracted celebratory comments but wait a minute…
Im always the sceptical one, and also being familiar with pulling pranks, i doubted the message at first sight, so i did the basic check!
- After clicking the link, I looked at the url, although the message was being purported to come from BBC, was this really from them, the first sign was bbc.com. this was too obvious a prank, BBC is from uk it would only officially operate on a BBC.CO.UK domain not the .COM
- A closer look to the url showed that the story was not even coming from the BBC.COM itself. It is coming from a sub domain and a worse, its Sunday times, a competitor to the BBC, ironic right?
- The URL should simply tell you that the story is cooked up since its not coming from any of the official site but rather a crooked one.
Besides this technical approach to quickly verify the source of information on the web, the most simple one is to go to Google hit the hot search words and Voila, If Google does not know it they its probably a lie.
Like i guessed no one else knows about the news except these bbc.com guys but honestly who does that?
Do not get fooled a easily , this news has nothing to do with BBC, Sunday times, CNN or any other huge media house you can think of?
The creators of such news are called nothing but prank masters or jokesters.
It was nothing evil but a pure joke and they thought you would laugh right? Wrong.
After a few seconds of opening the link , it has an automated message that will quickly confess that we are not for real, simply nothing but a big joke!
In fact the owners of the website have all the big names in the news industry and also do ask you to type your own joke and fake it to come from any big media house. Any message can be created and masked to be official on their panel and for anyone gullible, well tough luck!
You can also go ahead and create your prank here, but please do not cause any heartbleeds, most people are likely going to believe the message at first hand!