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A hoax is a deception or a campaign to spread false information, usually of a grandiose nature, usually for some benefit of the hoaxer. The word may derive from "hocus-pocus", a supposed magical formula, used by stage magicians.


The term may refer to something that has become accepted or established by fraud or fabrication.[1] Hoaxes are widely publicized and intentional attempts to make people believe falsehoods. Unlike confidence tricks, money is not usually involved, but the trickster may try to play practical jokes, expose gullible people or damage political or artistic rivals. If a worker lies about being sick to get the day off work, it is not a hoax. If a group of people lie about an atrocity for political reasons, it can be called a hoax. Revisionists sometimes call the "Holocaust" a hoax, and the title of one of the primary works of Holocaust revisionism is "The Hoax of the 20th Century".

See also