Fake News / Fake Boobs

At least the fake boobs have some intrinsic value
– mary heston

The week in Review:

Very Interesting week in the digital world.  I spent the beginning of the week talking with parents and reviewing the headlines from the previous two weeks that seemed to be all about facebook.

Next I packed up to zip off to DC for the Wired Kids Summit.  It is going into its 12th year and it is one of the most amazing programs going.  Kids from around the country come together to present amazing information they have gathered over the year on topics that they chose all about life in the digital world.  They present these findings to the audience which is filled with industry leaders from facebook, Google, Build-a-Bear, governmental agencies, phone companies, game companies and a few Wired Moms.  Last year the darlings of the year were three “tween angels” (younger than 13) who reported on whether it was OK to swear when you’re playing video games and what words are OK to use online.  It was a very thoughtful and interesting report filled with lots of giggles.

So, I’m packed up and ready to go and thinking about where things are heading in the digital world for my kids and the kids I will be meeting next week in DC.  My personal preoccupation this week started with the upcoming deadline for comments to the FTC guidelines on digital articles, podcasts, videos etc by bloggers that have somehow been compensated by companies/ brands.

This led me on a search about fake news, fake posts, and fake forum posts.  The worst offender in the month of May 2011 was, IMHO  in my humble opinion, the employee from the Red Light Camera company out of Arizona who was going online to various local forums in cities that were considering putting in red light cameras and posting messages as though he were a local resident – of course in favor of this new technology.  A discussion followed on Maryheston.com about Full Disclosure.

Mashable posted a great article about 9 viral videos that were actually advertisements.  CLICK HERE for the full article.

I love the Internet.  It is a great source for information.  But you have to be more and more careful about what information is accurate.  This is what drives me crazy when relatives call me and tell me that they are sure they have some awful disease because they read about it online.

Recently, a MLKjr. quote went viral – the only problem was that Martin Luther King Jr. only actually said part of the quote.  It was an innocent enough mistake blurring a woman’s comments with the actual quote but it was not entirely accurate.

So, when companies go out of their way to blur the lines between reality and advertising it can be confusing, deceptive, and can backfire on them if the people online resent the fact that they have been duped.  It is much better to be up front and put a disclosure in the “ad” somewhere.

StopEmailScams.com posted an article earlier in May, that I am only finding now because of this new interest in the topic, that is an interesting review and opinion on Fake News Sites.  CLICK HERE for the full article

As a population we LOVE fake news.  The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, and the Onion, are just three examples of our love and appreciation for fake news.  But when it is billed as actual news then it crosses the line and just gets me riled up.   Alot of people get all worked up about women with fake boobs.  But what’s worse?  Fake Boobs or Fake News.  At least the boobs have some intrinsic value.  Tell me if your news is Fake and I’ll love you for its entertainment value.  Try to be tricky with it and you’ll lose us forever.

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