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.
19 replies on “This hoax has gone viral, and they are using my Photoshop work!”
that image really stays with you. good going eric, this should go on your greatest hits collection
Ah, it was just a prop I through together for a class.
I had seen this image a couple times last week. Had NO idea you created it. This is too funny. It just shows how gullible media is.
Incredible. Where is the fact checking?
The important thing for them isn’t facts or what is true or not, it’s HIT”S, pure and simple. They refused to respond to my email asking them to credit me for the image or take it down, because now when you search Google images and you find my image, it goes to their site. So, they stole my traffic, which is why they won’t respond. They know it’s wrong. What can they say?
Wow, is all I can say.
I feel a lawsuit here. You do such good work I like it.
Fantastic! The whole episode reminds me of the Brass Eye TV satire series: phrases like ‘literally killed to bits’. Don’t know if you’re familiar with ‘Man Beef’ too?
have u heard good artists copy great artists steal. seeing neither u copy it or steal it i consider u loser.
Today a head of the meat department where I work told me about this story. Because it was from a man who works with flesh meats for a living, I felt for it. He really believed it himself. Live and learn.
Yeah. So many hoaxes out there. Glad you checked up on this one.
I find it ridiculously funny how people spread these hoaxes on FB and other social media sites without even checking facts. Just shout OMG and then swear off chicken (or whatever the hoax is about) forever. Then scaring other people into doing the same. The sad fact, it can lead to people losing their jobs. That’s why I never bother to forward a hoax someone else sends to me. More to the point, I like to point out to them right away how and why it’s a fake. Thanks for the information.
Hope you don’t mind if I use the photo next time I want to rant about hoaxes on my site.
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You’re very welcome. I have mixed feelings on hoaxes. I don’t like this kind of hoax, but I like doing hoaxes that punk the art world, which means there are no real victims other then someone’s pretentiousness.
Sure, feel free to use the image for rant about hoaxes. I agree with you on fact checking. Snopes is always a good place to look (if you look up the KFC mutant chicken, they actually have my Photoshopped chicken there, but, er, didn’t credit me). What surprised me with a lot of information, myths and hoaxes is that people don’t even bother to check Wikipedia. Oh well.
Have a good one.
Dude where’s the credits for the original image you snatched off the internet? You are a contradiction yourself.
Don’t be a dick. I could probably find out whoever took the original snap I used, and credit them for aiming the camera and clicking the shutter. The real work was in transforming a generic photo into a mutated chicken. Y’know, adding on the wings and legs halfway convincingly. Remember, I just knocked this out as a prop for part of an English lesson.