Yes Men: “Exxon Strikes Back!”

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Filed under: Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking, Fact or Fiction?, Pranksters, You Decide

Update from the Yes Men:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 28, 2007

Exxon Hacks the Yes Men
Contact: people@theyesmen.org

One day after the Yes Men made a joke announcement that ExxonMobil plans to turn billions of climate-change victims into a brand-new fuel called Vivoleum,

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the Yes Men’s upstream internet service provider shut down Vivoleum.com, the Yes Men’s spoof website, and cut off the Yes Men’s email service, in reaction to a complaint whose source they will not identify. The provider, Broadview Networks, also made the Yes Men remove all mention of Exxon from TheYesMen.org before they’d restore the Yes Men’s email service.

The Yes Men assume the complainant was Exxon. “Since parody is protected under US law, Exxon must think that people seeing the site will think Vivoleum’s a real Exxon product, not just a parody,” said Yes Man Mike Bonanno. “Exxon’s policies do already contribute to 150,000 climate-change related deaths each year,” added Yes Man Andy Bichlbaum. “So maybe it really is credible. What a resource!”

After receiving the complaint June 15, Broadview added a “filter” that disabled the Vivoleum.com IP address (64.115.210.59), and furthermore prevented email from being sent from the Yes Men’s primary IP address (64.115.210.58). Even after all Exxon logos were removed from both sites and a disclaimer was placed on Vivoleum.com on Tuesday, Broadview would still not remove the filter. (The disclaimer read: “Although Vivoleum is not a real ExxonMobil program, it might as well be.”)

Broadview did restore both IPs on Wednesday, after the Vivoleum.com website was completely disabled and all mention of Exxon was removedfrom TheYesMen.org.

While this problem is temporarily resolved, the story is far from over.