Ryan Holiday pretended to be a credible source on a variety of subjects, just to see who would fall for it. Scalps include CBS, ABC, Today and The New York Times.
“I knew that bloggers would print anything, so I thought, what if, as an experiment, I tried to prove that they will literally print anything?” he says. “Instead of trying to get press to benefit myself, I just wanted to get any press for any reason as a joke.”
At Forbes, Holliday offers a rundown of how fake stories are generated and propagated even without intentional misdirection. He even has a book out on the subject, titled Trust Me, I'm Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator. [Forbes]