David Strom

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Fox News Bit by Street Etiquette Artist

Filed under: Creative Activism, Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking

Submitted by David Strom:

Animal New York, September 15, 2011:

Jay Shells Promotes his New Signs on Fox News, Then Punks Them

As we mentioned, artist Jay Shells is attracting lots of media attention with his most recent etiquette campaign and this afternoon he was asked to appear on Fox News”™ “Happening Now” program to which he happily agreed.

Before he wrapped up the live segment though, he used the opportunity to take a jab at the network (1:36) and explained how he planned on doing a “Fox Lies” sign, but settled for the horseshit one instead. He tells us that the crew on set laughed. The same can”™t be said for the correspondent interviewing him. UPDATE: Vimeo removed the clip, so now we”™re rolling the dice with YouTube (Should that get removed, News Corpse also captured it.).

images: Trendhunter:

Merchant Website Confesses to IE Hoax

Filed under: Publicity Stunts

Submitted by David Strom:

“Internet Explorer Users Have Lower IQs” Study Is a Hoax: Here Are Some of the Red Flags
by Tim Carmody
August 3, 2011

If a headline sounds too good to be true, think twice.

A widely circulated research study claiming to show that Internet Explorer users have lower IQs has been outed as a hoax.

An outlet calling itself the “AptiQuant Psychometric Consulting Company” threw up a phony website a month ago, copied staff photos from a French site, and issued a press release [malware-free PDF] to reporters. Major newspapers, web sites and television stations from England to the US ran the story.

If they looked at the purported data at all, they didn”™t look at it very closely. This may have been a clever hoax, but it wasn”™t a careful one. (more…)

‘Gay Girl In Damascus’ Is Married Man in America

Filed under: Media Pranks, Political Pranks, Prank News

Submitted by David Strom:

‘Gay Girl In Damascus’ Turns Out To Be An American Man
by Eyder Peralta and Andy Carvin
June 12, 2011

Over the last several months, Amina Arraf, a blogger who said she was Syrian-American and went by the name Gay Girl In Damascus, captured the world’s attention. Her blog caught on just as the protests against President Bashar al-Assad of Syria became widespread and the crackdowns more violent.

On June 6, it all came to a screeching halt when Amina’s cousin declared on the blog that Amina had met the fate of many bloggers in authoritarian regimes: Assad’s police had taken her into custody. Whether she was alive or dead, no one knew.

As soon as “Free Amina” groups popped up on Facebook and the State Department began looking for her, the story began to seem a lot like fiction. No one had ever talked to Amina. The Guardian published a profile of her June 7 that included a picture they soon found out wasn’t Amina but of a Londoner called Jelena Lecic. The biographical details in her blog posts did not check out. Amina Arraf couldn’t be found in any public records in Georgia or Virginia and the names of her father and mother also turned up nothing. (more…)

Photo Mix-up With Obama Is a Hoax! No It’s Not! Yes It Is!

Filed under: Political Pranks

Submitted by David Strom from Strominator.com:

Photo Mix-up With Obama Is Called Hoax
By Joseph Plambeck
The New York Times
May 9, 2010

“Obama touts wind energy in Iowa,” a headline read on The Washington Post”™s Web site in late April. But if a reader”™s screen grab is to be believed, the headline ran with a photo not of the president but of Malcolm X. And in an age when any mistake is possible grist for a public flogging, this was a catchy gotcha.

In quick succession that day, the screen grab appeared on the Web sites of Gawker and New York magazine. For both sites, nuance was not in the cards.

“The Washington Post Cannot Tell Obama From Malcolm X,” the headline read on Gawker. Forty minutes later, New York”™s Daily Intel blog described the image as “the very greatest news-website screen grab ever.”

Initially, The Post thought it was innocent human error. A separate article in its homepage slide show was about Malcolm X. But the next day, The Post dug through its edit logs and found no evidence of a mistake.

Andrew Alexander, The Post”™s ombudsman, who had received about a dozen reader messages about the image, wrote last week that “after an internal investigation, Post editors have concluded the case of mistaken identity was most likely a hoax.”

But was it? (more…)

Student Hoax Wins Paris Match Photojournalism Prize [English & French]

Filed under: Art Pranks, Creative Activism

Submitted by David Strom:

French magazine Paris Match was the victim of a hoax when it was revealed that this year’s winners of its Photojournalism Award had faked their images

Student hoax wins magazine’s top prize
by John Lichfield in Paris
The Independent
27 June 2009S

Amid its traditional mixture of glossy celebrity and gritty reportage, the magazine Paris Match published this week a searing double-page spread on student poverty in France.

The excellent black and white photographs of students prostituting themselves or looking for food in dustbins won the magazine’s annual prize for student photojournalism. Student poverty certainly exists in France but the photos were entirely faked.



Fake CEO Blogs

Filed under: Media Pranks, Satire

Posted by harshavardhan on Thought Beans Blog, November 2, 2007:

Fake Steve BlogThe Fake CEO blogs, have become a big buzz in the blogosphere. Amongst the fake blogs, the Fake Steve blog is most popular.

It is written by Daniel Lyons, a senior Editor at Forbes Magazine. It took almost 14 months to find out the author of this Fakesteve Blog. Daniel writes the Technology articles for Forbes.

There are other fake CEO blogs:

  • Fake Richard Branson
  • Fake Larry Ellison
  • Fake Bill
  • Fake Schwartz
  • Fake Steve Ballmer
  • Fake Steve
  • Thanks David Strom. Photo image: TheAge.com.au.

    Related link:

  • Author of Fake Steve Jobs Blog Outed
  • Fox News and the Ham Sandwich

    Filed under: Media Pranks, Pranksters, Propaganda and Disinformation

    Thank you David Strom for sending us this story about Fox News falling for a parody of a news story about a ham sandwich incident in a middle school in Maine.

    From Think Progress:

      …The backstory: Last week in the town of Lewiston, Maine, a group of Somalian Muslim middle school students were the subject of a cruel prank when their peers placed a ham steak next to them in order to personally offend the students. School officials filed a report because the students considered the act to be a hate/bias crime.

      This actual story was then spoofed by a parody site called Associated Content, which made up quotes and details, such as the school”™s intention to “create an anti-ham “˜response plan.”™”…

    Fox & Friends subsequently picked up the spoof story and reported it as news, or should we say, mocked what they thought was the news. Here’s the video:


    The New Virtuality, and Truth is Stranger than Fiction

    Filed under: Co-option (If You Can't Beat 'Em...), Spin, Truth that's Stranger than Fiction

    Strom writes his “Web Informant” blog about current trends in technology and Internet marketing. This appeared in the fall of 2006, and was originally published for the site TidBITS.com, a site geared towards Apple computer users. The article is updated for ArtofthePrank.com.

    The news in the fall of 2006 has me confused; so let me see if I have this straight. MTV is now doing a game where you can play as one of the characters from one of their reality TV shows, a show that employs script writers. These are different writers from the ones who not too long ago were protesting that they weren’t paid enough and had to falsify their time sheets to show that they worked fewer hours.

    Then there are people making money off of selling Second Life businesses that sell virtual goods to others inside their virtual world. (more…)