Hoaxes refers to the "purposeful deception of the public." Hoaxes were especially common in the era of the penny press. The false stories were used to capture readers and sell papers.

The Great Moon Hoax-1835, The New York Sun published a series of stories about an astronomer who discovered life on the moon.

Hoaxes were so common, that many didn't believe the telegraph was real when it was first read about.