This page compiles the 25 urban legends that circulated the most widely on the Internet in 2015, as determined by frequency of access, user searches, reader e-mail, and media coverage.
Facebook Privacy Notice
1) FALSE: Posting a legal notice on your Facebook wall will protect your copyright and privacy rights.
Mark Zuckerberg Giveaway Hoax
2) FALSE: Mark Zuckerberg is giving away $4.5 million to Facebook users who share a “thank you” message.
Full of Bull
3) FALSE: Red Bull and other brands of energy drink contain bull semen.
Dead Ringer Singer
4) FALSE: The body of a homeless man found in San Diego was identified as that of Elvis Presley.
Donald Trump “Dumbest” Quote
5) FALSE: Donald Trump said Republicans were “dumbest group of voters” in a 1998 People interview.
6) FALSE: Facebook will soon start charging users a monthly fee for using their social network.
7) MIXTURE: A comparison of the salaries of top executives of several large charitable organizations.
Tainted Blood Oranges
8) FALSE: Oranges from Libya have been injected with HIV-positive blood and pose a danger of infection.
9) FALSE: Pope Francis said belief in God is not necessary to be a good person.
15 Days of Darkness
10) FALSE: NASA confirmed the world will experience 15 straight days of darkness.
11) FALSE: Fashion CEO Michael Kors said he is tired of “pretending to like blacks.”
Willie Nelson Death Hoax
12) FALSE: Country music legend Willie Nelson has died.
War on Christmas Cups
13) FALSE: The coffee chain Starbucks removed all mentions of Christmas from their red holiday cups because “they hate Jesus.”
Arizona Iced Pee
14) FALSE: The FDA discovered that the Arizona Beverage Company uses human urine in many of their products.
Terrorists Buy UPS Uniforms
15) FALSE: Terrorists have acquired a large number of “missing” UPS uniforms.
Sandy Hook Hoax
16) FALSE: The FBI has revealed that no murders occurred in Newtown, Connecticut, in 2012, inadvertently admitting that the Sandy Hook massacre was an elaborate hoax.
Drinking Age Lowered
17) FALSE: President Obama has signed a new law lowering the drinking age to 18.
Sandy Hook Staged
18) FALSE: A video documents that the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School were a staged hoax.
ISIS Kill List
19) OUTDATED: An ISIS “kill list” targets several U.S. cities and towns.
20) FALSE: An Indian woman gave birth to eleven baby boys all at once.
21) FALSE: The planet Mars will make a once-in-our-lifetimes, remarkably close approach to Earth.
Cell Phone Telemarketing
22) FALSE: A directory of cell phone numbers is being released to telemarketers.
Secret Sisters Gift Exchange
23) FALSE: By participating in a Facebook “secret sister” gift exchange, you’ll receive 36 gifts (or books) in exchange for one $10 contribution.
Reverse PIN Alarm
24) FALSE: Entering your PIN in reverse at any ATM will summon the police.
25) MIXTURE: President Obama appointed Fatima Noor as the head of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in the Department of Homeland Security.