I tend to have a reasonably high threshold for getting bullshitted--my default position on any issue is that someone is lying to me to get something out of it. So it is not particularly often that I get hoodwinked by something on the internet.
Now, we're not talking a four-alarm case of the sleight of hand that Pierre Salinger got caught believing. This is something of much greater importance: Harry Potter.
(I should point out that this is more or less the worst spoiler possible with the Harry Potter universe, so don't read any further until DUMBLEDORE DIES.)
Now, I haven't read any of the books, but I've seen all but one of the movies. I am an armchair fan--the whole thing seems childish at first, but it grows a little more complex and interesting by the time it reaches the end. So since I'm not versed in all of the details that the books have, so in my defense I'm probably a little easier to fool than a more hardcore fan.
Anyway, I read on some post somewhere the following quote from J.K. Rowling: "Yes, it's rather funny, really, that next to no one realized the snake that Harry set free in Philosopher's Stone turned out to be Voldemort's final horcrux, Nagini."
It. Made. Perfect. Sense.
In the Philosopher's Stone, of course, Harry is drawn to the snake at the zoo and they talk--a crucial point noting that Harry has the gift of talking to snakes. He then sets it free. Knowing what we know of Harry's background later in the series, this is a pretty significant moment of foreshadowing that many people did not see.
So, given the gift of this knowledge (thank goodness no one else has access to the internet) I immediately text my wife, and go and tell the one Harry Potter fan at work. Both are astounded at this piece of information.
Alas, I then had the temerity to check the validity of this quote, which turns out to be false. It's apparently been going around for a while now, and I just happened to come across it and started to spread the word like gospel like the moron I am. I quickly had to issue retractions before I caused any more damage to humankind.
Of course, what makes this all disappointing is that it would have been awesome had it been true. And there's the crux--it's something that's plausible in the storyline, and also appreciated by fans. That is one reason why it is so believable.
Of course, I haven't checked either the books or the movie--I am, again, basing this hoax on the exact same source material (i.e., the internet) that fooled me in the first place. Some people never learn.