The Guardian announced
it would become "the first newspaper in the world to be published exclusively via Twitter, the sensationally popular social networking service that has transformed online communication," thus rendering its printing presses obsolete. It also revealed an ongoing project to rewrite its entire news archive in the form of "tweets" (Twitter's text messages that are limited to 140 characters each). Examples included:
"1832 Reform Act gives voting rights to one in five adult males yay!!!"; "OMG Hitler invades Poland, allies declare war see tinyurl.com/b5x6e for more"; and "JFK assassin8d @ Dallas, def. heard second gunshot from grassy knoll WTF?"
The camera manufacturer Olympus announced that it had discovered "the first picture ever taken." The picture was supposedly discovered in the Japanese "Outer Fokus mountains." The Guardian
, collaborating in the joke, ran an article about the discovery on its front page.
announced that under a new incentive plan, each of its readers would be eligible to receive a "Guardian Gourmet Card," allowing them to gain a 15% discount at participating restaurants. The card would also allow holders to be eligible for 850,000 pounds in prize money. Each card would display a ten digit number broken into a sequence of three-four-three. Each week top chefs would be asked to select their favorite three course dinner. A menu would be randomly selected from among these choices, and then the total calories in each course would be determined. These calorie amounts would become the prize-winning number, to be matched against the numbers on a card. In a separate article, the Guardian
noted that there was some similarity between their Gourmet bingo game and a bingo-style scheme launched by their competitor, the Standard
, to earn reductions on restaurant meals (a scheme which the Guardian had loudly derided as tawdry and commercial). The Guardian
's editor noted: "I cannot of course deny that there is pounds 850,000 at stake here... Nevertheless the whole tone and refined taste of the competition, redolent of wild strawberries rather than the sweaty armpits of the Stock Exchange, invites a totally different response from readers." The next day the Guardian
announced that it was unfortunately forced to cancel its Gourmet Bingo game because of "an outbreak of salmonella poisoning at its plastic credit card subsidiary."
reported that scientists at Britain's research labs in Pershore had "developed a machine to control the weather." The article was titled, "Britain Rules the Skies." The article explained that, "Britain will gain the immediate benefit of long summers, with rainfall only at night, and the Continent will have whatever Pershore decides to send it." Readers were also assured that Pershore scientists would make sure that it snowed every Christmas in Britain. Accompanying the article was a picture of a scruffy-looking scientists surrounded by scientific equipment. The picture was captioned, "Dr. Chisholm-Downright expresses quiet satisfaction as a computer printout announced sunshine in Pershore and a forthcoming blizzard over Marseilles."
The Guardian published a special seven-page supplement describing the tenth anniversary of the small (nonexistent) island of San Serriffe. The island’s geography was named after printing terms. For instance, its two islands were named Upper Caisse and Lower Caisse, and its capital was Bodoni. Articles described the eccentric culture of the island. Authentic advertisements accompanied the articles and played into the hoax. For instance, Texaco offered a contest for which the first prize was a two-week trip to Cocobanana Beach in San Serriffe. Kodak ran an ad in which it said, “If you have a picture of San Serriffe, we’d like to see it.“ The Guardian reported that its phones rang all day as people called up requesting more information about the island. The success of this hoax was largely responsible for the flood of April Fool’s Day jokes that appeared in other papers in succeeding years. (See the Hoaxipedia article: San Serriffe