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Did The Sun publish a mocking story in 1991 comparing the World Wide Web to the Sinclair C5?


This is an odd one, because the picture above is very obviously a joke - from the byline onwards - but nonetheless does appear to have been passed around Twitter for most of the day as though it was real. Or, at the very least, with a degree of uncertainty.

Partly this is because the most commonly shared version of the picture, above, strips it of its context. Here’s what the full page looks like:

So, it’s clearly not from 1991, as it claims, because it’s very noticeable that the design has been done on a relatively modern computer. (Also, on a pedantic point, while there was a web server running by late 1990, Tim Berners-Lee didn’t publicly announce the World Wide Web project until August 1991, so for the Sun to have front-paged it in May would have been a hell of a scoop…)

Compare it with this real Sun front page from later in 1991, and the difference is pretty obvious, from the overall look and feel to small details (like how the date and price are written, byline style, etc.):

So where does it come from? The answer is that it was actually made by The Sun themselves - it’s from Hold Ye Front Page, their (really rather good) educational site that features mocked-up front pages for historical events (there was also a book). In fact, the Hold Ye Front Page team are on Twitter, and have been cheerfully spending the day retweeting people saying that this picture proves how stupid The Sun are.

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