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Anatomy of an Internet Hoax: Nikki Leotardo June 24, 2007

Nikki Leotardo?  FuggedaboutitTwo weeks ago, just after the finale of HBO’s The Sopranos aired, a tornado of an Internet hoax began circulating in cyberspace. Rumor was that rather than the ending being an inconclusive steaming dump, David Chase gave it concrete closure: Tony Soprano is certainly killed by Nikki Leotardo, the man in the members only jacket and nephew to Phil Leotardo. Hundreds of thousands of gullible morons propagated the misinformation — blogging, commenting, and pumping it up until Nikki Leotardo finally made it into google’s top 10 search terms, a home on wikipedia (now removed), and a place in faux Sopranos history.

We’ve got mixed feelings about the idea of an Internet hoax. One the one hand, disinformation kind of blows, but on the other, mischief, mayhem, and making idiots look like asses they are totally rocks. Regardless, we’ve tracked down the operative who originated the whole fiasco, the creator of the Internet’s favorite fake Mafioso, Nikki Leotardo. Regardless of what your feelings are on the subject, it’s a conclusive case study on how the virtual world is filled with non virtual morons. Here’s the sordid details, straight from the horse’s mouth:

I am here to officially proclaim what you should already know by now. There is and never was a “Nikki Leotardo” on any episode of the Sopranos. I know this not because HBO spokespersons said so but because I wrote the damn thing after the show ended on Sunday night. If you never heard about this theory, here it is in its original form: