A ‘hoax within a hoax within a secret’

You’re going to want to sit down for this.

Not everything you read online is true.

That’s the point an anonymous person — operating under the phony name Robert Hastings — was trying to make when he/she made a phony website, allegedly representing one of the shell companies the FBI created to hide the ownership of dozens of airplanes being used in domestic surveillance.

It wasn’t as if “Hastings” didn’t leave clues. Though allegedly based in Washington, the skyline on the website header was New York, it was created the day an Associated Press story on the surveillance program broke last week, and the alleged CEO of the company was a stock photo.

“The purpose and intent of this social experiment was to see how quickly (or if at all) a website with a demo template created in no more than an hour’s worth of effort could travel the globe socially due to being unofficially ‘associated’ with a niche, related keyword,” he posted on Vice.

“Rumors build upon rumors to a point where even when the reveal and truth is told, it then becomes a conspiracy cover-up,” he tells the NY Daily News.