Technology blogs are always hungry for news, specially for news about “new” and “secret” Google products. If you mix this with some dozens of people looking to do something together and the typical creativity of forums with thousand of users, the result is a nice fake published on hundreds of technology blogs and smart newspapers with “leaked” information.
Everything started with the user Gnome publishing a private thread on forocoches (Spanish forum with thousand of users) about doing something with a nice pic he created. After setting up the basic plan with a small group of users users a new private thread was started to post updates and recruit more people for the project.
The idea was to send the “exclusive” images to several websites as anonymous users. The photo had a nice pizza with peanuts, some Google icons and an opinion poll with excel style graphics.
It started slow, taking more than an hour to get the first article published. After that everything started to move fast and some other sites and small newspaper published the “leaked” content.
The chain of blogs republishing the photo was working like a broken phone, the first publishers presented the photos as “a possible design or a rumor”, then as “leaked photos from unknown source” and finally some cited them as “leaked photos received directly from Google”.
There is a list with some of the websites (English, Italian, Spanish, German…) publishing the image. Note that after the fake was revealed, part of the publishers edited the articles correcting the information and changing titles.
The final result? a nice viral campaign for a non existing Google product with non existing content. When the Internet is hungry for something it will takes whatever you throw at it.