State news agency fools Turkish media with ‘robots growing like kids’ story
ANKARATurkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency managed to fool a number of Turkish media outlets with a fake story on “robots that can grow” that was published to mark April Fools’ Day.
“Japanese scientists have developed robots that can grow exactly like children. The robots, which will be manufactured specifically for the owner, are produced in a way that it can experience all phrases of life,” said the article entitled “Robot capable of growing developed.”
The story was fictionalized by the editors of the agency on March 31 so that newspapers could use it the next day, and the plan fooled some newspapers and websites.
The “prototype robot” was named “Hashari Samaray,” which is a combination of Turkish word for “prankish” (haşarı) and almost the reversed version of the Turkish word for “naughty” (yaramaz).
The surname of the leader of the fictional team that developed the robot was Nasinisakashi, which somewhat resembles the words for “April Fools’ Day” in Turkish.
Anadolu Agency has previously made similar April Fools’ jokes, including a 2009 article entitled “Planet very similar to earth discovered,” a 2012 article entitled “Pregnancy duration decreasing to five months” and a 2013 article entitled “Natural gas found in Taksim [central Istanbul].”
April Fools’ Day jokes are also common in the international media, with the BBC spearheading the publishing of fake news.
The BBC’s news program Panorama presented a story on farmers in Sweden who collected spaghetti from trees in 1957.
Plenty of viewers called the channel and asked how they could also find a tree that grows spaghetti.
The BBC continued with the joke and told its viewers that they should put spaghetti in a jar full of tomato sauce and wait for the “tree” to grow.
In 1976, the BBC also published a story claiming that gravity would decrease on April 1 at 9:47 a.m. because Pluto would fall in behind Jupiter and temporarily begin affecting gravity on earth. English astronomer Patrick Moore told the BBC that at the exact time of the alignment, people who jumped would feel like they were swimming in air.
Many viewers called the BBC after 9:47 a.m. that day and claimed that they jumped and felt the swimming sensation as described by Moore. One woman also claimed that she and her 11 friends started flying in the room they were in.