I am part of an urban legend! A hoax has gone viral in the last few days about KFC using mutant chickens. One of the photos they are using is something I created in Photoshop. Naturally, neither those perpetuating the hoax, nor those using the image as click-bait for articles about the hoax asked my permission to use it, credit me, or offer any money. However, in terms of the validity of the hoax, I think this will backfire because I have the evidence that I made it, and I like to dismantle hoaxes. In the gallery above you can see some of the stages I used to create my original mutant chicken. Sorry folks, the KFC mutant chicken is not real. I can at least prove the image isn’t real, for those that want to debunk the urban legend.
Please note that I am NOT a part of those who created the hoax, and am not part of those spreading it. The image was taken from my blog without my knowledge or permission. For the in-depth story of how and why I created the image [ironically to help college students identify hoaxes and not fall for them] go here.
Below are a few sites using my image for their hoax, which they are doing merely to gain hits and make money off of advertising.
Here it is on Planet Infowars.
Below on Daily Viral Buzz. Note all the paid advertising they have going on in the right sidebar. I commented on their Facebook page that I made the graphic, but nobody responded. Yeah, I’m not making a penny off of this.
Business Insider had the good sense to decry the story as a hoax, but never bothered to find out where the image they featured came from, which would substantiate that it is a hoax. I’ve written them two emails and made two comments on their post. They refuse to acknowledge me. It’s all about getting hits and money from advertisers. Well, not for me, I don’t have any advertisers and get no money for hits.
So, as this story makes its rounds all over the world, the gallery I included here, showing several stages of my process of making the mutant chicken, proves that I am the source of that image, and that the story is a HOAX.
For the record, I created it for a lesson on how to identify hoaxes, which I taught to my university English students in China. The clincher that it was a hoax was that I had made the mutant chicken myself in PS, proving you can’t trust photos anymore in the age of Photoshop.
So, in short, the hoax already existed, and a lot of my students believed it. I gave them the story and made a picture to make the lesson more interesting. We debated whether it was true or not, and then I revealed that it was a hoax, and the visual evidence, well, I just made that myself on the computer. I rather think the students are now less gullible, and they learned the KFC hoax was bullshit.
But, yeah, it would be nice if I got anything positive out of an image I created going viral. Nope.