The latest outbreak of red faces is in Seoul, where Korean journalists and investors have been caught out by one of the oldest online hoaxes around.
On a slack Friday afternoon's trading, the Korean stock market dropped by 1.5% - a value loss of more than $3bn - after local TV reported that Microsoft chairman Bill Gates had been assassinated. Mr Gates, who personifies many of the hopes of the global technology industry, was reportedly shot by a lone gunman at a charity event in Los Angeles - "facts" eagerly retailed by three Koreanchannels, MBC, YTN and SBS. In fact, the story was a hoax, lifted from a - admittedly, highly accurate - spoof of the CNN website.
The hoax CNN story, concocted by online gaming website CG-Rom, may have been convincing, but it is also part of one of the internet's best-known japes. There's a lot of it about Indeed, there is a wealth of spoof material around concerning Mr Gates' demise. For many computer geeks, the idea of the boss of hated Microsoft coming a cropper is irresistible.
On one "tribute" site, he appears to have been shot on 2 December, 1999, an event marked by remembrance message boards, conspiracy theorists' forums and even a movie. The story still retains its power to convince, however - and not just in Korea. Chinese media fell for it a week ago, after the story was picked up by English-language paper China Daily.