10 common internet misconceptions, debunked

The internet is a wonderful thing but watch out before you start sharing those ‘facts’. Here Elliot Morgan from Mental Floss reveals ten common misconceptions and conspiracies doing the rounds.

1: Punching in your PIN in reverse at a cash machine is a universal distress signal

Think about it, what if you had a reversible PIN?

2: The New Zealand government tried to introduce a ‘fart tax’

The government did attempt to apply a "back-door tax" but not for humans, it was for livestock and in the end, the tax did not pass.

3: There are twice as many kangaroos in Australia as people

At the last count there were 34 million kangaroos and around 23 million people but the Australian Department of the Environment doesn’t survey the entire continent so…who knows?!

4: Men take twice as many ‘selfies’ as women

This misconception is loosely based on a 2013 survey of people who would own up to taking ‘selfies’.

5: Smoking makes your nipples fall off

No-one could pretend that smoking isn’t bad for your health but your nipples should stay put.

6: There are more people alive now than have ever lived before

Nope. Mental Floss tells us that the current population is a mere 6 per cent of all the humans that have ever lived.

7: Women speak 7,000 words a day to men’s 2,000 words

There's no accounting for quality, but there is no statistical difference between the number of words used by both genders.

8: Internet Explorer users have lower IQs

This one was a cheeky hoax orchestrated by a web developer.

9: Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy were both assassinated as part of the same conspiracy

The internet loves a good conspiracy but this one has been firmly debunked.

10: Nigeria has a prince

All royal power was stripped when Nigeria became a Republic in 1963 so if you get an ‘urgent’ email from a Nigerian prince who needs some help transferring a few million dollars, go ahead and press delete.

More: Man flu is not a myth

Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)