Hungry Beast pranks 7PM Project (and a few others, too)

A fake survey about gullible Australians from Hungry Beast leaves a few media organisations red-faced.

hbdiLooks like Hungry Beast is about to move in where The Chaser exited.

Several media organisations were fooled by a prank staged by Dan Ilic for the new ABC show, in which a phony “Levitt Institute” released what they claimed was a survey on Australia’s most gullible people.

The hoax report (matched by Levitt’s phony website), titled “Deception Detection Across Australian Populations, ” was picked up by the Australian Associated Press who filed an extensive story on the data. Several news services, including ninemsn and The 7PM Project, ran the news that Sydney is our ‘most naive city.’

One Brisbane radio station even broadcast an interview with a “spokesperson” from the fictitious institute.

Following a call from Media Watch today, AAP realised they had fallen for a hoax and issued a takedown notice.

Comedian Dan Ilic, one of the show’s new presenters, refused to elaborate on his role in the joke.

“What I can tell you (is) it will be an explosive bombshell Wednesday night 9pm on the ABC,” he said, being sure to include the airtime.

That time again? 9pm Wednesday on ABC1.

Over to you for payback, 7PM….

Source: NineMSN

10 Responses

  1. Unless surveys include proper methodology and a large sample size (i guess i have to use judgement), I don’t even bother reading the news articles accompanying them. So many times I hear and read BS news articles about a survey claiming (x) when it had so few participants, is just common sense, or a survey is just plain wrong for the research they are trying to find out. News organisations seem to lap up dodgy surveys like they’re some form of authoritative research, when they’re almost always not.

    The stunt pulled really shows how gullible news organisations are for stories. Looking for a great, damning and controversial story? Click the website link on my username…

  2. You can’t really blame ninemsn or 7PM project, they got the story from the AAP. How the AAP picked it up will be interesting. In this day in age, you have to take any survey with some grains of salt.

    1) Surveys done via the Internet (e.g. news websites, mens mags) will only get responses from people that visit that site. So if FHM (for example) find that 70% of respondents are doing it daily, that doesn’t mean that 70% of the population does.

    2) Other surveys are commissioned by an ‘interested party’ and probably ask leading questions. Look at the number of these that appear on Media Watch.

    About the only survey that you can trust is the census done every five years!

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