The (fake and the real) 2011 Nobel Prize in Literature

It wasn’t to be Bob Dylan’s day, I’m afraid. But the 11th hour surge in betting for Tomas Tranströmer was right on the money. At 13:00 CET Peter Englund, permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy announced that the Nobel Prize in Literature 2011 is awarded to the Swedish writer and poet “because, through his condensed, transluscent images, he gives us fresh access to reality”.

However, 15-30 mins before the announcement, news filtered through Twitter that the Serbian author Dobrica Cosic had received the prize. The reason? A hoax site had been set up.

The first tell-tale sign that this was a hoax was the url (http://www.nobelprizeliterature.org/ as opposed to http://www.nobelprize.org/) The second, the lack of a formal citation from the awarding committee. The twittersphere helped me to trace the origin of the site.

Martin Eve tells me he is looking into this further and will post anything he finds on his own blog. I’ll keep you updated too.

UPDATE: Martin has posted a full tech report of the hoax site here.

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