Tragedy, sympathy and broken hearts: 10 social media hoaxes

Published: Friday, Jan. 18 2013 4:22 p.m. MST

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Any look at fake online profiles soon leads to "limeybean," which was the online moniker of an 18-year-old girl living in London, who had lost a father and twin brother to a strand of untreatable tuberculosis, wired.co.uk reported in 2009.

According to the Wired report, limeybean announced she too had been diagnosed with that rare strand of TB, and her online activities chronicled her struggles. Throughout this time, limeybean gathered a large following of readers, who mourned her after she reportedly died from her illness.

The Wired report said the limeybean hoax came to light after another person began digging into her claims and publishing the information. Eventually limeybean returned to the Internet to post that she "never intended for things to go this way."

"I've always had a problem when it comes to telling the truth on the Internet, to be honest," she wrote.

She also said she wanted to use her fake illness to try to get "some of the idiot emo kids" to buck up and realize that their lives weren't all that bad.

"The lie was worth something, wasn't it?" she asked. "How bad is a lie if it helps?"
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