It feels a little as if the world has been driven quite insane by the “Talking Angela” hoax.
If you’ve been lucky enough to miss all the fuss so far, here’s a quick recap.
About a year ago, a chain letter began to be spread online claiming that a popular smartphone app featuring a talking cartoon cat was really a front for paedophiles to groom children.
In the last week or so, the chain letter has resurfaced with incredible ferocity, with many Facebook users forwarding it to each other without checking their facts.
This morning, things took a new twist for me when a woman from the North of England rang me out of the blue, and asked if *I* was the author of the Talking Angela app.
She didn’t sound very happy, so I felt I should tread carefully.
“No, I didn’t write the app,” I calmly replied.
“Well,” she huffed, as what I presumed to be a whippet barked behind her. “I googled for ‘Talking Angela’ and it was your name which came up.”
I gently explained that I had merely written about the hoax and that didn’t mean I had created the app myself. (“Yes, it’s a hoax madam. You’ve been reading stuff on the internet which isn’t true. Just imagine!”)
After a couple of minutes she appeared to accept my protestations of innocence, and my suggestion that it she googled a little harder she would find plenty of other legitimate sources confirming that the app was not a cloak for paedophiles to access young children, and that there wasn’t a paedophile lurking in the cartoon cat’s eye.
It’s a very very strange world.