TMSM Mythbusters: Slight of Link (Or How Not To Be Totally Fooled On April Fool’s Day!)

March 27, 2017

The goal of this blog series is to factually prove or disprove rumors, myths and misconceptions in the Disney-verse. Tonight on TMSM Mythbusters we are re-sharing the article “Slight of Link” tonight in hopes of reminding you of how to find the “Got You” in those tricky tricky April Fool’s Jokes you will be seeing later this weekend.

Slight of Link

Every April Fool’s day TMSM staff’s personal boxes and the main page’s inbox get flooded with messages from readers asking us to verify if Cinderella’s Castle is changing names, if Walt Disney World is getting a fifth park, if Pepsi is replacing Coke in the parks or if Disney has bought the rights to Anastasia from Fox animation studios to remake it as a live action movie. All of these things are in fact FALSE. I won’t lie to you, articles like that get comments and shares which generate hits to the original posters website, and since it is April Fool’s Day these articles are written for fun not to be malicious.

The issue though that we are tackling today is the “slight of hand” that many readers miss in these jovial articles that would clue them in to that “awww MAN they GOT me moment.”  There are now two ways that writers clue you in to that “Ah Ha!” moment. The first is the easiest to figure out, but also the one we are always the most embarrassed to admit to getting fooled by. As we all know, and even I will admit to doing this on occasion, we don’t always READ an article completely. Perhaps we are in a rush to get some where, are just reading while we have a moment to relax etc. so we skim an article for the main facts but never really read the whole thing. Or worse yet we read the title and preview of the article and fly with that information as fact. The thing is the easiest way to avoid being “that guy” in a forum on April 1st is to be the guy (or gal) who completely reads the article before flying off to react or share the news. Why is this you ask? Well simply put because many writers still use the old “FYI check the calendar” approach near the end of an article to direct you to the articles date (4/1) or they will directly say “Ha Ha gotcha! This is an April Fools joke!”

mWrVe5NNZQOpYyM0QZFpydQThe new way though to clue readers in to the joke is the “hyperlink in the sentence” method.  The reason many miss this option is because we’ve all been taught “don’t click random links to avoid malware and viruses” or because we just don’t have time to see what other articles and information a website wants us to pay attention to or because we are on mobile and clicking those itty bitty links in a sentence on a small screen is a pain. The problem is when readers don’t click that “redirect”  they completely miss the “haha gotcha” that takes them to. This then causes the reader to think that an article from a source they trust is in fact true.   That “redirect to the truth” option is also why many of those joke articles resurface months later, readers thought what they were reading was real news on the day it was released as a joke so months later they will reference it in conversations and on social networking as fact, usually with the link to the article, or worse yet with just some of the information copy and pasted or screen shot into a conversation. The issue with those methods is that they lead to a whole new problem where others don’t even know the redirect existed or are unable to access them. The image below shows a very direct way of a writer using the “redirect” option. Other pages make the “redirect” less obvious which makes it harder for people to have that “OHH well they got me” moment. This hyperlink redirect also leads to April Fool’s articles popping up and being cited as fact later in the year when people don’t look at the publishing date.this can then create more confusion because people aren’t looking for a joke to be announced in a redirecting link in say August.
So while the castle isn’t being renamed, Hollywood Studios hasn’t made any announcements in the last few weeks about changes to the parks, Coke is still the soda of choice at Disney Resorts and Parks, and Anastasia still belongs to Fox, the slight of hand “April Fools” misconception has now hopefully been busted in a way that you can merely laugh at articles on 4/1/17.

*Below is a list of April Fool’s jokes that have gone around in 2014, 2015 and 2016 that were in fact only jokes just in case you weren’t 100% sure and wanted to know!

  • Disney announcing plans for Hollywood Studios that was Star Wars and Pixar/Cars Related
  • Goof Troop’s Powerline to play a secret show
  • Walt Disney to appear as a hologram at the 60th Anniversary of Disneyland
  • A movie with the Guardians of the Galaxy in the Star Wars Universe
  • Disney Bought Star Trek
  • The Castle in WDW being re-themed for Elsa
  • Olaf replacing Stitch in Stitch’s Great Escape
  • Pepsi Replacing Coke in the Disney Parks
  • A Judge banning all things Frozen from Disney Parks due to a lawsuit
  • An X-Wing Movie in the style of Cars and Planes
  • A Fifth Park in WDW
  • Disney bought the rights to the animated film Anastasia
  • Disney banned tattooed guests from its theme parks
  • All Attractions at Disney’s Hollywood Studios to Close Effective This Sunday
  • Disney Bounding is no longer permitted at Disney Parks
  • The Carousel of Progress is Closing
  • Cinderella Castle is being torn down, and Spaceship Earth is being turned into a Death Star

At the end of the day here is my suggestion to you. If come later this week you see an article that has some insane “Disney news” that seems as if it was written to enrage you, or something so silly it has you going “Wait, WHHHAAT??”, before you hit share take a few moments to research said article. First read it in full and look for the following. Are any of those hidden links in the article? Does it end with “Gotcha!” Or “Don’t forget what today is”? If so, laugh and go on with your day, but before you hit share make sure your friends will be that proactive too.. If you still aren’t sure pop on over to Google and do a quick search. Are any valid sources like The Orlando Sentinel or Orange County Register or TMSM reporting what you are reading? If not, the chances are you got ‘April Fools Punked”, and that is ok because it is a part of the day. Just remember to take a moment and clue in your friends to the truth when you see them reacting to some of the impending silliness.

Also, remember to keep an eye out for next week’s TMSM Mythbusters where we will cover whatever Disney related April Fool’s Day jokes that went viral and caused mass confusion in 2017.

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