The host of one of the Russian sites decided to play a trick on its visitors on March 31, and published the exact copy of the BBC news site on address www.gazeta.rin.ru. Instead of the breaking news, a visitor of the fake BBC site could read a short and unpleasant text about himself.
The visitors of www.gazeta.rin.ru were offered before to joke on each other, having written the names of e-mail addresses of their friends, and the server did all the rest.
The joke got a lot of attention on April 1. The BBC received dozens of letters from users, who wanted the British Broadcasting Corporation to remove all the information about them from the main page of the site. The text on the “BBC site” was like this: “Woman Seeks Man: I would like to meet a good man for romance and friendship. I am 170 cm tall, long hair, blue eyes, soft skin, gorgeous bosom! Please call at night. Ask NN.”
BBC said that was not the first joke they had from the Russian Internet companies. The sites www.lenta.ru and www.gazeta.ru played the same trick six months ago. But they did their best in order to avoid the confusion, they even registered another server for that.
The hosts of www.gazeta.rin.rudid not do anything like that. Having received a message from a friend, the users could see the address, which seemed to be rather a usual one, like this one: : http://firstname.lastname@example.org/cgi-bin/print.pl?id=7Zp29rpPLUpz, so they were sure it was all true. At the end of the day, the BBC made the authors of this April Fool’s joke remove all the fake pages and the BBC apologized for misunderstanding.