Greenpeace, along with an activist prank group, collaborated on a video that tricked the Internet into believing a Shell Oil send-off party with a malfunctioning drink fountain in the shape of an oil rig that ruined the party decorations was real—a hoax that racked up more than 700,000 pageviews its first day. Fake press releases on behalf of Shell were sent out threatening bloggers who reported the story. The story built up momentum through blog sites until it was picked up by legitimate news organizations. One site received 30,000 pageviews from the story. The same site received 90,000 after the story was revealed as a hoax. Greenpeace bragged the stunt cost “tens of thousands of dollars.” 

Read the story.