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No, This Isn't How The Sun Reported The Invention Of The Internet "In 1992"

Sigh.

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Three days ago, Chris Shaw sent this tweet supposedly showing how The Sun reported the “invention” of the internet “in 1992”.

How The Sun reported the invention of the #Internet, back in 1992... Blimey!

The tweet has already been RT'd more than 5,000 times, copied by dozens of others, and posted and shared widely on Facebook.

Just one problem, though: The whole thing is a spoof – by none other than The Sun itself.

The warning signs should be pretty obvious. Tim Berners-Lee is generally credited with inventing the World Wide Web rather than the whole internet, and it launched in March 1989 – not 1992.

The internet itself dates back to the 1960s, when it was known as the ARPANET – by 1969 it had a massive four computers hooked up to the network.

But if such cornerstones of geek history weren't enough to trigger alarm bells, then there was one slightly more obvious clue: The reporter's byline was "DOT COMME". The clue's right there, guys.

The report actually originates from a collection of spoof educational articles The Sun produced to show how it would report the entirety of human history – including the Big Bang itself, which predates the newspaper's launch by a little over 13.7 billion years.

This isn't the first time this particular hoax has caught out Twitter users: It did the rounds before in 2012, when among others it caught out Martha Lane-Fox, an adviser to the government on the digital economy, who tweeted, according to the Press Gazette:

@MarthaLaneFox: hilarious. how the sun newspaper reported tim b-l discovery of www

For anyone determined to track down a second source, here's what The Sun's managing editor had to say about the tweets.

This article was a (rather brilliant) spoof article by the Sun. https://t.co/1DgPNfBWsS

He also tweeted a selection of The Sun's other mock front pages – probably coming soon to a Twitter stream near you.

Sun did a whole series of spoof historical front pages that are rather good:

James Ball is a special correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in London. PGP: here

Contact James Ball at James.Ball@buzzfeed.com.

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