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There's a lot of mystery and uncertainty surrounding the G8 and G20 summits so it's no surprise these international spectacles have sent the rumour mill into overdrive.

In Huntsville, where the G8 is taking place June 25-26, the tiny seasonal town is especially fertile grounds for that proverbial grapevine -- as one Huntsville local put it to me recently, "If you haven't heard a rumour in Huntsville by 5 o'clock, start one." The misinformation was already flying when I was up in Huntsville a few weeks ago  -- everything from submarines patrolling the lakes to rumours of RCMP confiscating people's guns for an entire month. Other tall tales were even more bizarre -- one OPP officer told me he's heard local chatter of satellites that can read people's thoughts. 

In Toronto, rumours are also starting to fly faster now that the G20 is just around the corner. And of course, we can always count on Twitter to add some fuel to the fire -- earlier this week, as a construction fence went up along Front St., a few people mistakenly tweeted it was the security perimeter for the G20 (that fence isn't going to go up until June 7). And during Wednesday's power outage, there were plenty of tweets speculating the blackouts were part of G20 preparation tests or conspiracies.

Today, Twitter has been especially rife with fake rumours but at least these ones come with a disclaimer. A #G20fakerumours hash tag has been started and people have been tweeting up a storm, announcing faux-facts about the G20 and its elaborate security preparations.

(Correction: It's been pointed out to me that #G20FakeRumours all began with a tweet from @Torontoist and a response from @frsrmtthws. See Torontoist's blog post about the trending topic here.)

Here's a small sampling of what some people are coming up with:

rmcw 80% of G20 security price tag will be used to distribute fluffy kittens to subdue protesters #G20fakerumours

carvetha Security fences installed 4 pre-emptive Stanley Cup parade route after Brian Burke traded Kaberle and 4 picks for G20 Summit #G20FakeRumours

shankell Giant RCMP Beavers from the 2010 Olympics closing ceremony to be flown in as extra security personnel. #G20fakerumours

HereNowParkdale Much will be accomplished at the upcoming G20 Summit. #G20FakeRumours

frsrmtthws #g20fakerumours Justin Beiber will perform 'Baby' for selected delegates in Huntsville at the request of Barack Obama

rubedawg83 #G20FakeRumours City to be enclosed in airless vacuum to reduce the risk of air born weaponry.

And my personal favourite:

RobFordAngry I AM A SOUND CANNON! #G20FakeRumours

  LO_ford01 Photo: Lucas Oleniuk/Toronto Star


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This was all courtesy of the Torontoist ... http://torontoist.com/2010/06/fake_g20_rumours_courtesy_of_you.php

The #G20fakerumours hashtag originated from Torontoist's Twitter account (and our followers picked up the ball and ran with it from there): http://torontoist.com/2010/06/fake_g20_rumours_courtesy_of_you.php

Thanks for pointing that out -- we wouldn't want to start another #fakerumour! I've corrected the blog entry to include Torontoist's role in starting the hash tag.

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