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Transmission

Serbs Fall For Nobel Internet Hoax

A screenshot of a hoax website that declared Serb nationalist Dobrica Cosic the winner of this year's Nobel Prize in Literature.
A screenshot of a hoax website that declared Serb nationalist Dobrica Cosic the winner of this year's Nobel Prize in Literature.
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It must have been a painful cut for Dobrica Cosic, Serbia's leading nationalist writer. Along with much of the Serbian public -- and some corners of the international media -- Cosic fell victim on October 6 to an elaborate internet hoax that claimed Cosic had been awarded the 2011 Nobel Prize in Literature.

The fake announcement, organzied by a group of activist hackers, was made on a mock Nobel Prize site. It led to a flurry of news breaks and congratulatory notes before the Nobel Committee announced an hour later at a ceremony in Stockholm and on its official site that the real recipient was Swedish poet Tomas Transtroemer.

The hackers then posted another note on the fake site in which they explained the motivation for their hoax. 

"The purpose of our activity is to bring to the attention of the Serbian public the dangerous influence of the writer Dobrica Cosic, who has been, again this year, proclaimed by some as a serious contender for the Nobel Prize in Literature."

Cosic, 90, was a hardline member of the Communist Party who turned to nationalism in the 1970s and led, with several fellow members of the Serbian Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Serb nationalist revival in the 1980s, which many in the Balkans and beyond see as a primary cause of the former Yugoslavia's bloody breakup.

The authors of the fake announcement wrote that the "terrible consequences of Mr. Cosic's political, literary and public activity are felt to this day, both by his own country and throughout the region. Dobrica Cosic is not a recipient of the Nobel Prize, although the general public in Serbia, and he himself, believed he was for 15 full minutes," the activists said in the announcement.

"We find some solace in that fact," they added.

-- Nedim Dervisbegovic

Tags: Serbia, Balkans, Nobel Prize, Dobrica Cosic

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Comments
     
by: Jabotinsky from: Palestine
October 08, 2011 01:45
The CIA guide on Nationalisms: Serbian nationalism is bad ; German nationalism worse ; Arab nationalism is good if it is Saudi Arabian and bad if it comes from somewhere else ; iranian nationalism is terrible ; Iraqi is good now ,but was very bad before ; Turkish nationalism is superior to that of its neighbours and the noble turks had to kill close to 10 millions of them to prove it.The worst nationalism is that of the natives who oppose their invaders and mass murderers -they should be put into reservations and killed for their own good.The first and last and always is the Anglo-Saxon Nationalism which is always right,no questions asked, please,and when we couple it with the nationalism of the pharisees then we have it all till Kingdom Come.And after that we shall buy our way unto heaven forever and a day.Amen.
In Response

by: Humbert from: Canada
October 08, 2011 19:07
Just who are these "hacker activists" and how do they reconcile the contribution of violent nationalism from their own country while condemning the writings of another? Subjective, as usual. It reflects the usual ethnocentric sentiment that "our nationalism is patriotic while your nationalism is dangerous."

More likely, these so-called "activists" are underemployed, puerile delinquents who justify their use of Cosic as the dupe in this hoax to make their asinine antics feel more important and purposeful than they are. If someone honestly wants to be an "activist," all it takes is the courage to voice your opinion in the face of injustice. This isn't activism, it's an example of what a bored imbecile with a computer can do.
In Response

by: Slava
October 10, 2011 02:02
Nationalist anti-Serbs, who've been successful at spinning questionable opinions as facts on a number of issues.

RFE/RL is among several venues showing a preference for such crap.

by: FelicianoLopez from: Madagaskar
October 09, 2011 05:42
This newspaper is so eager to bash Serbs whenever they get even half a chance. It is so silly and childish. Oh Serbs fall for a Noble prize prank, ohhohohoh, hihihihih huhuhuuhuhuh, what a laugh. Its so funny. Ahahhaha, like someone is going to give Serbs a Noble. They are not a deservant nation. What quality person did they have through history.......ccccc
In Response

by: Slava
October 10, 2011 02:03
To be excpected from RFE/RL.
In Response

by: Ivanushka the fool from: Mother Russia
October 10, 2011 21:03
Slavnii Slava,the real serbs dont need friends like you -kgb `russians`,read what Cosic says about lying at the top of the post then add: ....we also lie for money mostly...-which is what you and yer kgb bedfellows do on these posts.Stick to yer post kgb joke of a country and give yer honcho crazydent a lifetime term-this way you will save lotsa money for booze,selyodka and fooling around with gypsy boys and girls.And do something you havent done for 6 months now-wash yer face !!!!!
In Response

by: Slava
October 11, 2011 23:25
Your inaccurate comments in the form of a diatribe doesn't substantively refute the facts and fact based opinions which have been presented.

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Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at transmission+rferl.org

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