Summary of the eRumor: A series of videos showing young people
apparently popping popcorn with their cell phones. Four cell phones
are arranged facing each other on the top of a table. In the center
of the cell phones are several kernels of unpopped popcorn. The cell
phones are called at the same time and as they begin to ring, the kernels
The Truth: The videos are fake, an attempt at viral
marketing by Cardo, a manufacturer of Bluetooth headsets. They were
originally released on May 28, 2008.
Here is the original and an example of what was circulated:
The message is interpreted by many to be that if the cell phones radiate
enough energy to pop popcorn, wearing a headset will be safer than holding
the phone to your ear.
Links to the videos started being forwarded around the Internet by people
who were concerned about what they were seeing and what it meant about
radiation from the phones.
The problem of course, is that popcorn cannot be popped by proximity to
cell phones and the videos, according to the folks at Cardo, contained
"fictitious and humorous optical illusions designed for entertainment."
A statement from Cardio went on to say, "Nothing in these videos is meant
to imply that mobile phones can make popcorn."
In June, 2008, Cardo admitted that it had created the videos and released
versions with its advertising in them.
A real example of the eRumor as it has
appeared on the Internet: