Anatomy of a Hoax: Four Tet Is Not Burial, and People Will Believe Anything


There are always people who want to believe in conspiracy theories, and to impose their own narratives on situations where actual concrete information is lacking or entirely absent. So it was no surprise to see the “Burial is actually Kieran Hebden from Four Tet” theory raise its head again yesterday, this time after an article in hitherto obscure music magazine Equalizer, which used what appeared to be a doctored screenshot from Hebden’s Facebook page to support the idea, along with a satirical tweet from Caribou dating from early May, in which he wrote, “How has it taken me this long to figure out that Four Tet is Burial?”

The ensuing online shitstorm is a pretty salutary example of the fact that people will believe pretty much anything, even something that can be disproved with a single freaking Google search. Understandably, poor Hebden seems fed to the back teeth with the whole thing — as presumably is the real Burial, who was revealed as one William Bevan way back in 2007. Elsewhere, meanwhile, the latest installment of the apparently endless saga has led to much Twitter-based amusement — as the Guardian‘s Dan Hancox, who interviewed Bevan at the time, wrote this morning, “We’re dicks, basically.”

The tweet that started everything (this time around, anyway):

… although the fact that Caribou posted this the day after seemed to rather escape everyone’s notice:

And then, yesterday, this happened:

Leading to stuff like this:

… and this:

Everyone else, meanwhile, seems to think it’s hilarious:

… although poor Four Tet isn’t seeing the funny side:

And he’s not the only one:

And finally, the one and only tweet from the man himself: