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In April 1999, a press release issued over Business Wire announced the creation of a new company called Webnode, which had been granted an exclusive government contract to regulate ownership of 'nodes' on the 'Next Generation Internet.'

"The release linked to Webnode's corporate website," hoaxes.org explains, "which offered a 'technical explanation' that nodes were 'points of presence' (pops) on the web, which would be collected into megapops and then into gigapops and that 'connections among gigapops will be negotiated by the gigapops themselves through the Collective Entity.' Numerous media outlets picked up on the story, including Yahoo and Wired, and stock message boards filled with posts from people eager for more info about the company. But would-be Webnode investors were let down later that day when three pranksters from the Silicon Investor stock-chat site admitted the company was their hoax, created, they said, to educate investors about fraud on the Internet by demonstrating that 'Anybody can put out a press release and say pretty much anything they want.' Business Wire didn't find the prank funny and successfully sued the three for $27,500."

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