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PR Firm Behind Al Gore YouTube Spoof?

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the new-intarweb-trolls dept.

777

mytrip writes to tell us ABC News is reporting that a supposed amateur video posted to YouTube.com may have actually been designed and posted by a Republican public relations firm called DCI. From the article: "Public relations firms have long used computer technology to create bogus grassroots campaigns, which are called 'Astroturf.' Now these firms are being hired to push illusions on the Internet to create the false impression of real people blogging, e-mailing and making films."

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777 comments

The Linux Penguin (2, Interesting)

keesh (202812) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856508)

Isn't that the Linux penguin? And isn't said penguin trademarked and copyrighted?

Re:The Linux Penguin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15856516)

And aren't "All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective owners." ?

Re:The Linux Penguin (1)

colinrichardday (768814) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856543)

The trademarked images, such as the Linux penguin, are used with discussions about the trademarks' product. The video in question has no relation to Linux.

Re:The Linux Penguin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15856613)

You have no idea what you're talking about.

Are you suggesting I could create a video of Tony the Tiger having sex with little children, and face no repercusions because that's not their "product"?

Re:The Linux Penguin (1)

Namronorman (901664) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856727)

Are you suggesting I could create a video of Tony the Tiger having sex with little children, and face no repercussions because that's not their "product"?
On the contrary. Depending on where you live, if you make a video of Tony the Tiger, or ANYTHING having sex with children, you'd probably face such repercussions as ... I dunno, pedophilia charges?

Re:The Linux Penguin (1)

aichpvee (631243) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856635)

What's the license on the Tux image?

Re:The Linux Penguin (2, Interesting)

Baricom (763970) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856664)

Permission to use and/or modify this image is granted provided you acknowledge me lewing@isc.tamu.edu and The GIMP if someone asks.

Source: http://www.isc.tamu.edu/~lewing/linux/ [tamu.edu]

I don't have a YouTube account. Anybody want to ask toutsmith where the penguins come from?

Re:The Linux Penguin (1)

Pantero Blanco (792776) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856545)

Parodies are fair use.

This may be an asshole thing to do, but I'm pretty sure it's not illegal in any way.

Re:The Linux Penguin (4, Informative)

Ohreally_factor (593551) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856563)

If it was a parody of Linux, it would be considered fair use. It's not a parody of Linux. Therefore, it's trademark and copyright infringement.

Re:The Linux Penguin (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856588)

It's not a parody of Linux. Therefore, it's trademark and copyright infringement.

Dude, you just said Linux and . . .

Ow! Ow! Ow! Stop throwing those stones at me.

KFG

Re:The Linux Penguin (3, Insightful)

praksys (246544) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856690)

With trademark violations the key question is usually whether the use of the trademark creates a false impression that the product originated with the trademark owner. The non-comercial nature of this video, and the way in which the trademark is used is unlikely to create that sort of impression, so no trademark violation here.

The image is also protected by copyright but the copyright owner says: "Permission to use and/or modify this image is granted provided you acknowledge me lewing@isc.tamu.edu and The GIMP if someone asks." The key bit here being "if someone asks".

Re:The Linux Penguin (2, Informative)

AchiIIe (974900) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856695)

It's not a parody of Linux. Therefore, it's trademark and copyright infringement.

Not true, it depends on how the logo is licensed. In this case the logo has been created by Larry Ewing, Simon Budig, and, Anja Gerwinski. They decide how it may be used. See Tux.svg [wikipedia.org] and more importantly: http://www.home.unix-ag.org/simon/penguin/ [unix-ag.org]:

... The use of these drawings is free ...

Re:The Linux Penguin (1)

_KiTA_ (241027) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856734)

So, is Linus going to go after them for this copyright infringement, or is he going to accept it and possibly see theownership and protections of Tux deminished?

Or is that whole "You have to go after every infraction or lose your IP" thing just a myth used by PR agents to justify labels suing grandmas?

Re:The Linux Penguin (1)

eshefer (12336) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856568)

this is not a parody of linux. it's a parody of an al gore flick. it is most cirtainly NOT within fair use of the linux trade mark.

Re:The Linux Penguin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15856637)

an al gore

Woah, dude...

Re:The Linux Penguin (1)

Junta (36770) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856689)

Copyrighted material may be reproduced in parody if it is the subject of the parody. However, legally, if the copyrighted material is being used to parody something else, then it's not technically legal.

For example, Penny Arcade had to remove a comic featuring Strawberry Shortcake because it infringed on American Greeting's copyright. Penny Arcade was using the character to parody American Mcgee's style of game development.

Re:The Linux Penguin (2, Interesting)

Null Nihils (965047) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856609)

Yes, that's the Linux Penguin.

I was intrigued to see that Roblimo has posted this video to YouTube, after he saw the astroturf video in the Slashdot submission bin:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Y08z9QMe0o [youtube.com]

Re:The Linux Penguin (1)

AchiIIe (974900) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856719)

Roblimo is wrong on this No one is required to credit the author of the tux logo each time it's used. Not even slashdot credits him. He licensed it and said: use it, but if "anyone asks" then credit him. And just to play devil's advocate: why does everyone revolt so badly when our work is not being credited? We collectively abuse lot's of other licenses, whether music, software etc.

Re:The Linux Penguin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15856652)

How about if the PR firm got permission? Linus is already in the pocket of big tech, big oil is just the next step. Tux is just a cover, really that little guy is Morloch the owl god who is worshipped by the world elite during their gay sex orgies at the bohemian grove. Enjoy your DRM!

Re:The Linux Penguin (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856655)

as it happens the penguin in question is copyright "larry ewing" but of course Linux (kernel) is copyright Linus Torvaulds --- note to spelling fiends this is most likely misspelled but...]

Yeah they did swipe the specs

Missing the obvious... (2, Interesting)

Junta (36770) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856720)

If we are playing the whole intellectual property game (which we conveniently like to do when someone we *don't* like pulls this stuff), did they:
-Get the permission of DC to use the likeness of 'The Penguin' in making over Al Gore?
-Get the permission of Marvel for using X-Men 3 imagery?

So they managed to rip off the Linux logo, and both of the major comic publishers, they really wanted to piss geeks off...

{old,new} news (4, Insightful)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856514)

Political hacks have been sponsoring spin in books and the "news" media since forever. What's new here is that they now see the blogosphere as important enough to merit attention.

Re:{old,new} news (-1, Troll)

maxpublic (450413) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856653)

What's new here is that they now see the blogosphere as important enough to merit attention.

They see Youtube as important enough to merit attention. The self-important hacks who post their maturbatory drivel to various websites and then have the arrogance to rename their collective efforts the "blogosphere", as if what they did were somehow different or more important than what any other wanker has been doing since the '90's, these folks still don't count for shit outside the cirlcle-jerks that they and their admirers live in.

Max

Re:{old,new} news (5, Insightful)

FFFish (7567) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856722)

What's new here is whether we let them get away with it. "It" being the use of negative campaigning as a means to deceive the uninformed audience.

There is opportunity here to inform the cow-like public that they are being manipulated by assholes. US elections have become a race among liars and crooks. Time to demand better, partly by taking responsibility for one's own role in the process.

If enough of us take the time to care about the social quality of the candidate, we can have a system of honest, compassionate, competent people who are in it because they want us all to do well. A rising tide floats all boats: the greater the common good (ocean), the greater the individual good (your boat).

The only way to have long-term generational success is to ensure we make sure everyone has the opportunity for good health, good education, good standards, and good safety.

Makes sense (3, Interesting)

thisnow1 (882441) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856521)

When I first saw the goofy cartoon, it seemed like no "real" person would've spent the time to make something so dumb. I really hope whoever threw it together got to fleece that PR firm in "production fees" for something so silly- then at least something good would come out of this.

Re:Makes sense (5, Funny)

dan828 (753380) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856577)

...no "real" person would've spent the time to make something so dumb.

You must not frequent youtube.

Maybe this link will work. (3, Informative)

khasim (1285) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856525)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZSqXUSwHRI [youtube.com]

And if any PR company produced that, they're seriously over paid.

Re:Maybe this link will work. (4, Insightful)

wizbit (122290) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856535)

And if any PR company produced that, they're seriously over paid.

Afraid you're missing the point. YouTube is largely community-produced content, often full of drunken dancing / buffoonery and clips from TV shows, etc. This clip was designed to "fit in" and look as amateurish as the rest of the tripe on YouTube to pass the smell test for most of the content there.

I'd say they did their job brilliantly.

Re:Maybe this link will work. (4, Insightful)

Pantero Blanco (792776) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856548)

Bingo. It's a campfire with no soldiers around it, designed to make one's forces look much more numerous than they are.

Of course, if they make it look too stupid, it just reflects badly upon their side...

Re:Maybe this link will work. (2, Interesting)

Ohreally_factor (593551) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856591)

The news report said that Exxon denied any knowledge. DCI, the PR firm, says it does not disclose the work it does for clients.

I bet we could find out lots in discovery if both Exxon and DCI were to be sued for trademark and copyright infringement (you'd need discovery to make the linkage to Exxon).

No, I understand that. (1)

khasim (1285) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856564)

This clip was designed to "fit in" and look as amateurish as the rest of the tripe on YouTube to pass the smell test for most of the content there.
No, I understand that.

But you could have gotten the same production value and content from just about any 10 year old kid on your block. For $20.

Which is why I say that any PR company that produced that is seriously over paid.

Amateurs can (and have) produced amazing content (that still looks amateurishly produced) on the Internet in the past. This ... this is just crap.

Re:Maybe this link will work. (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856620)

Whats to say that someone working at this PR firm didn't do the video as an amature product from home, or maybe using the tools he had availible at work or just submitting it from work because the high speed conection.

Or, what if this is just a advertisment thing were it is ment to garner attention to the firm. Done out of the guise that it will get media attention and even free "bad publicity" is "good publicity".

This was less interesting when I submitted it... (0, Offtopic)

mrraven (129238) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856526)

...yesterday exactly why?

" YouTube Gore spoof has murky origins Sat Aug 05, '06 12:08 AM Rejected"

Yes I know no complaints, yet I dare to anyway, bye, bye karma, nice knowing you.

Re:This was less interesting when I submitted it.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15856559)

As has been discussed endlessly, poorly written articles generally get rejected. It's probably just because you can't write, don't take it personal ;-).

Re:This was less interesting when I submitted it.. (3, Insightful)

evilviper (135110) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856574)

You know, I can understand complaints of rejected stories when they were submitted weeks or months before... But 24 hours? Give me a break.

So, the editors (using that term loosly here) probably got 1000 submissions of the story, and picked the one they prefered, instead of just the FIRST ONE, which probably wasn't yours (but somebody else before you) anyhow.

Re:This was less interesting when I submitted it.. (1)

FlyByPC (841016) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856581)

The first rule about Slashdot Club is, we don't complain about Slashdot Club.

Re:This was less interesting when I submitted it.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15856697)

The first rule about Slashdot Club is, we don't complain about Slashdot Club.

You must be new to Slashdot Club.

Re:This was less interesting when I submitted it.. (1)

imsabbel (611519) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856610)

Did you, for chance, notice that updates on the frontpage seem to happen every 30 minutes or so, day and night?
Doesnt that kinda stick as odd if there would posting those stories the moment they accept them, as you seem to have illusions of them doing?
Hint: maybe this story was already in the "to the frontpage" list when you submitted it. Just dont be a dick about it.

For Serial! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15856527)

No one takes Al Gore for Serial guys. Come on, he invented the internet, we need to trust him!

GRAA WANTS YOU!!! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15856529)

Are you Gay?
Are you a republican?
Are you tired of the Apple Mac being associated with gay liberals?

If you answered yes to these questions the GRAA (GAY REPUBLICAN ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA) wants to hear from you.

--
(c) copyright 2006 DCI
on behalf of the republican party

Disclosure? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15856530)

"Without the disclosure, it's really ethically questionable," said Diane Farsetta, a senior researcher at the Center for Media and Democracy.

Let's talk about disclosure...Mr Gore used over 450,000 pounds of aviation fuel to attend a converence in Japan recently. So much for reducing our fossil fuel usage. That wasn't fully disclosed by Mr Gore, of course. But, he's an honest man, I swear. In fact, so honest, that he invented the internet! Amazing!!

Re:Disclosure? (5, Informative)

iroll (717924) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856558)

So, he, uh, flew on a plane all by himself?

By the way, maybe you should go see "An Inconvenient Truth." There's a lot of needless Gore biography, but the major point is that we can reduce a lot of CO2 emissions WITHOUT changing our lifestyles. Instead we need to stop being cheap bastards (and stop glad-handing our corrupt and inefficient industries) and pony up for some simple investments and regulations (like matching European and Asian fuel efficiency and investing in something other than coal power).

Re:Disclosure? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15856578)

Drat. I can't tell if the parent post is a serious flame or a very subtle joke about astroturfing.

Re:Disclosure? (5, Informative)

thisnow1 (882441) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856579)

I keep hearing that statistic about his use of air fuel, but should he take a rowboat to China? You didn't see the movie probably- and I'm not saying anyone's "obligated" to do so. The message, however, as far as I can tell was very calm: This is a legit problem (spends a whole bunch of time on that- demonstrating things are a indeed bit amiss) but w/ some adjustments in efficiency and other areas this is a problem that does not need to be a problem. His presentation is not a call to abolish jetliners as we know it or make everyone get out and walk to work. At best, you could call him a hypocrite w/o any other way to get his ideas out yet. You make it personal (I guess as I'm doing w/ you right now) and miss the argument entirely- unable to weigh its merits. That last jab at 'ol Al for making that wacky statement that he invented the internet... check this out: http://www.snopes.com/quotes/internet.asp [snopes.com] But ignore all this, since you seem more interested in information from the "competitive enterprise institute" or the DCI Group- folks who like when they can get others to roll their eyes and dismiss new ideas.

Republicans lying to people? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15856533)

They do that every day and every moment, it's the only way they get voters to support them. Lie to them, scar them, deceive them into believing their bullshit.

Politicians lying to people? No, just Republicans! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15856546)

Yeah, because only the EVIL Republicans are the political group that lies to people.......

Re:Politicians lying to people? No, just Republica (-1, Troll)

Stalyn (662) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856567)

Yeah but Republicans have turned manipulating the American public into an art form. Then again you can't really blame the Republicans; it's really the public's fault for being so easily manipulated.

Re:Politicians lying to people? No, just Republica (2, Insightful)

Pantero Blanco (792776) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856616)

The way I see it, each party is as bad as the other. One's just better at it than the other one. Both try to exploit human characteristics in order to gain and hold power.

"Look at these poor people being oppressed! If you let us do X, thereby strengthening our power, we'll help them!"
"You're being oppressed! If you let us do X, thereby strengthening our power, we'll help you!"

Variations on these lines have been used by both the Left and the Right for decades. They've probably been used for millenia, whenever there has been a political divide. The "oppressed people that need saving" are generally actually being oppressed, but the result is always more power for the government, in the form of increased taxes, more spy powers, or laws that serve their ends.

Re:Politicians lying to people? No, just Republica (1, Troll)

portmapper (991533) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856692)

> The way I see it, each party is as bad as the other. One's just better at it than the other one. Both try to exploit human characteristics
> in order to gain and hold power.

But the Republicans specialise in using fear to manipulate. Remember all those terrorist alerts (i.e. "Threat Levels") that used to
be issued by the Bush Administration? In particular when Bush has political problems or when there is an upcomming election?

Re:Politicians lying to people? No, just Republica (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15856738)

You missed the beam in your own eye while pointing out the mote in your neighbor's. Lets not pretend Democrats aren't peddling in fear just as much. I know it's hard to make any kind of admission that your opinions aren't perfect, but no one is served by such soft-headed bullshit.

Or maybe the 'Explicit Lyrics' warnings on CDs really do protect children (to use one extremely common example). I don't see how, exactly, but then again, I'm not silly enough to think you can protect children from the world.

Re:Politicians lying to people? No, just Republica (4, Funny)

LordKazan (558383) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856731)

and yet that assessment is inaccurate, because I've never seen the democrats do things just for the sake of power.

Re:Politicians lying to people? No, just Republica (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15856661)

Then again you can't really blame the Republicans...

Ha! Watch me!

I BLAME THE REPUBLICANS!!!!!!!!

Why does this surprise anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15856555)

We had paid professional reporters, Dan Rather & co., put forward false stories about Bush last election, and we still have people clinging to the idea that that was real.

That, and this kind of jazz, has to go, no matter what you think of it.

Re:Why does this surprise anyone? (1)

chriso11 (254041) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856736)

Yes, but the actual content of the letters was correct according to witnesses.

Continuation (5, Insightful)

spikexyz (403776) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856565)

This is a continuation of the oil industry and friends' campaign of "we can't argue the science anymore with out looking like morons, so we'll just call people names". It's like the bully in the school yard who knows he's wrong so he'll just kick and scream.

Re:Continuation (1)

enrevanche (953125) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856660)

This is a reasonable analogy, not a troll. Whoever marked this a troll must be an oil company shill.

No astroturfers here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15856573)

So next time you're reading something on the Internet from a "real person" pushing a movie or defending an actor's alcohol-fueled rant -- be wary. That real person might actually be a hired gun, selling you an idea through deception.

Apart from on slashdot where no astroturfers ever attempt to steer opinion on the Microsoft or DRM/TCPA stories.

web politics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15856584)

I think that many republican Slashdotters have gone over to Digg.com. I notice that website is slightly bias toward them, as Slashdot has more of a liberal view.

Re:web politics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15856598)

12 year olds and republicans have much in common, I hope digg works out for them.

Yet people still give them money?? (1)

Tepshen (851674) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856585)

I'm an independant since my vote kinda swings depending on the issue but if I was a republican and I heard that my donations to the party were going towards producing amature hour vid's on youtube I would be highly pissed and think twice about contributing in the future.

A con term seems to come to mind... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15856596)

Shill [wikipedia.org]... which is to say, "Duh."
Who'd've thought the Republican's could catch on to such a new trick?

IMHO (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15856599)

As a media professional, after watching this video, I would like to say that it definately looks professionally produced, while at the same time aiming for an "amateurish" quality (like the Blair Witch Project, Digg, etc.)

Re:IMHO (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15856617)

As an anonymous coward , after not watching this video, I would like to say that I do not give a flying-fuck (Flash is for mouth-breathers).

And, notice the penguins (2)

greg_barton (5551) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856601)

All of the penguins, the ones being hypnotized by Gore's global warming spiel, are Tux, the Linux mascot.

So, not only did the republican PR firm want to spoof Gore, they're saying you're all dupes and idiots. (And yes, if you're reading slashdot, they mean you.)

Ain't that interesting?

Re:And, notice the penguins (1)

zxnos (813588) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856638)

this clip is insulting to republicans as well as linux users. it says that red staters would rather watch the x-men than learn about actual events in the world.

Re:And, notice the penguins (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15856642)

Uh, don't assume that every slashdot reader is a Linux fan. If you really think that you must be REALLY new around here.

Re:And, notice the penguins (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15856643)

Ain't that truth.

The real troubling thing... (5, Insightful)

Roger Wilcox (776904) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856605)

The real troubling thing here is that major news outlets including The Wall Street Journal, ABC, and even our beloved Slashdot are playing right into the hands of Exxon, DPI, and whoever else is behind the video.

By reporting about this incident, these outlets are providing the video a vast amount of exposure that it otherwise would not receive.

I'd bet anything that WSJ didn't stumble upon this story randomly - someone at DCI surreptitiously helped them along because DCI knew that they could get media outlets to unwittingly distribute their propaganda.

And at the end of the day, it's still considered good PR for all parties involved - Exxon got their point out to millions of viewers, DCI got paid, and ABC/WSJ/Slashdot did a good job of uncovering the "truth" of the situation, which pleases their readers and viewers just as much as any other story.

All of this is just an elaborate game to get you to view an anti-Gore advertisement.

Sad that this is how the media works today.

Re:The real troubling thing... (1)

Manchot (847225) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856696)

And at the end of the day, it's still considered good PR for all parties involved - Exxon got their point out to millions of viewers

And that point is what, exactly? That the movie and the message are boring? That's no message, it's an ad hominem which has been diluted by the fact that a large company is dealing it.

Re:The real troubling thing... (2, Insightful)

cowboy76Spain (815442) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856730)

In reality, the point is mocking about Gore and his ideas to make people thing that they ideas are ridiculous just because they come from him. Like when Charles Darwin was caracterized as a monkey when people started fighting the Evolution theory; it was easier to discredit Darwin with those jokes than rebating the scientific arguments.

Re:The real troubling thing... (1)

icegreentea (974342) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856700)

and if they didn't report they would be labeled as right wing/big oil loving puppets. it's really lose-lose. best to make the best of it and at least try to inform people that not only there's this video floating around, it's also made by a pr company paid by big oil to make al gore look dumb, while pretending to be just another random video, as opposed to just thinking that its just another random video. besides, if the same thing was done, except with an anti-bush or what not video, i bet you would commend the media outlets for "exposing the turth".

Re:The real troubling thing... (1)

enrevanche (953125) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856702)

I disagree. The people who are vulnerable to this sort of thing want to believe their conservative handlers anyway. What the ABC article ABC article disclosure gets across to those who think at least some of the time exactly how moneyed interests are manipulating the populace. It will add one more seed of doubt when they go to the polls and it indicates that the mainsteam media may be finally turning against the far right in finally taking stands against this ridiculous administration policies.

Moreover, these propaganda tactics are the type of things totalitarnists (Nazis, Soviets etc) use to control the populace. The people that do these sort of things are by nature anti-democtratic. They do not believe that the populace should decide the direction of a country but that they should be manipulated and told what to think. This helps bring this to light and puts it in the face of more people and makes them aware, at least for a moment, of thier own manipulation.

Au contraire... (5, Insightful)

cowboy76Spain (815442) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856705)

If the article was just a link to the video, your post would be true. Someone would click the link, see the video and think that it was funny and (at a subconscient level) see Gore as a political who cannot be trusted (because the depiction of the video gets to the mind, even if realizing it is a joke, because it shows that people does not like him and are very vocal about it).

But if you link to this video while telling the whole story, then the user does not see a video mocking Gore, he/she sees a video created to deceive them, created by a firm and falsely posted as Jhon Doe... as the receptiveness of the people changes, the thing that they see differs completely.

Greed knows no bounds. (2, Interesting)

brian0918 (638904) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856608)

"Burn, baby, burn. That's a beautiful thing." -- Enron trader, on the California fires

"Can you smell money?!?!?!" -- Jack Abramoff

"People of YouTube, I am one of you, believe my message: Facts are boring, therefore Al Gore is lying, QED. Watch more cool videos, and ignore reality... Just keep filling those tanks!" --toutsmith

I'm not saying Al Gore is completely correct, but at least I'm not hiding an agenda.

Will the real photo please stand up? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15856628)

""Public relations firms have long used computer technology to create bogus grassroots campaigns, which are called 'Astroturf.' Now these firms are being hired to push illusions on the Internet to create the false impression of real people blogging, e-mailing and making films.""

Can You Tell Which Photos Are Real? [popsci.com]
Take these quizzes to see how well you can spot digital tampering

Horrible movie anyhow (5, Insightful)

noamsml (868075) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856634)

Instead of making anything resembling a valid argument countering those in "an inconvenient truth", they resort to trying to discredit Al Gore by telling people it's "uncool" to be too intelligent and politically proactive, and that people should submit to brainless mass entertainment instead.

I'm aware of the psychological roots of this method, but I still find it detestable. Instead of arguing like an adult, the oil firms reduce themselves to the political equivalent of taunting the guy who gets high grades and/or is knowledgeable about many subjects because he's a "nerd".

Come on, oil companies, argue bravely and responsibly. If you think Gore is wrong, show us the proof. Don't just close your ears and shout "la la la la, I'm not listening!"

Re:Horrible movie anyhow (-1, Flamebait)

deKernel (65640) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856737)

Come on, oil companies, argue bravely and responsibly. If you think Gore is wrong, show us the proof.

Not really sure where to begin here....even if "big oil" were behind this, you already have your mind made up on this issue so what would be the point. I could point out issues like the oil companies are making only 9 cents per gallon of profit which would put them in lower area's of margin with industry but since the world as a whole is consuming record volume of oil that naturally they would achieve record profit. Or that around 30-40% of there profits go back into R&D, but hey I don't want to rain on your parade.

"Big Oil" is pure evil because they make really good scapegoats in your world so go ahead and continue to villify them.

Why is this news? (3, Interesting)

DavidinAla (639952) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856639)

So what? What's the big deal if someone was paid to produce this? That's just a normal part of politics. I'm a libertarian, so I'm not crazy about Gore OR his GOP opponents, but both of the major parties have partisans who create such material. Leftist organizations such as MoveOn.org try to get people to create buzz about web sites or videos that push their point of view. What's so surprising (or wrong) about some right-wing organization or person doing the same? It's just another attempt to get an opposing point of view into public consciousness. The fact that it was done anonymously on YouTube makes is smarter.

With that said, I think it's very poorly done. I'm not talking about the amateurish production values, but rather the weak (and unfunny) content. I'm a skeptic on global warming, but the piece just isn't effective in lampooning Gore.

David

Re:Why is this news? (5, Insightful)

WiFiBro (784621) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856703)

The big deal here is the dishonesty.

Trying to make it look as if there is a grassroot movement.

It's like the prefab letters (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3190934.st m) from soldiers in Iraq, in local newspapers.

It's like producing thousands of letters-from-the-public to look to be genuinely written by granny's. ("In 2001, the Los Angeles Times accused Microsoft of astroturfing when hundreds of similar letters were sent to newspapers voicing disagreement with the United States Department of Justice and its antitrust suit against Microsoft. The letters, prepared by Americans for Technology Leadership, had in some cases been mailed from deceased citizens or nonexistent addresses. [3]" - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astroturfing [wikipedia.org])

It's like writing that Indians will be oh so happy with GMO cotton (http://www.newkerala.com/news3.php?action=fullnew s&id=31418), while it failed and ruined poor farmers (http://www.gmwatch.org/archive2.asp?arcid=6737).

That's LYING and CHEATING for profit. That's the problem.

Again and again, such firms need to be closed (5, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856644)

This is not 'public relations' or not 'lobbying' - this is PAID propaganda. And this particular one, is what is actually lying about some person to demean him/her - the owners of this firm need to be sued, and to hell that is, and should be expelled from public life.

This is NOT democracy. Anyone who tells that this is democracy, are probably other paid propagandists.

CMD vs DCI? (5, Interesting)

andphi (899406) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856678)

"They want it to look like this came from someone who really believes this, who is really critical of Al Gore and global warming," Farsetta said.

There's an interesting assumption here: that the people criticizing Al Gore believe what he has to say but don't want to admit it - that Big Oil, Big Business, the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, etc. are lying when they say that they don't think "global warming" is happening. Or alternately, that only the "little people" can have valid opinions on the subject.,/p>

How does that make sense? If I, as an average citizen, espouse the opinion "Al Gore is a boring, irrelevant blowhard", I am being honest, but once I do something like rise to the presidency of my company or amass more than a million dollars in personal net worth, suddenly a statement like "I think Al Gore is a boring, irrelevant blowhard" is disingenuous?

Re:CMD vs DCI? (5, Insightful)

Peyna (14792) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856708)

If I, as an average citizen, espouse the opinion "Al Gore is a boring, irrelevant blowhard", I am being honest, but once I do something like rise to the presidency of my company or amass more than a million dollars in personal net worth, suddenly a statement like "I think Al Gore is a boring, irrelevant blowhard" is disingenuous?

Because the average citizen is a disinterested party. The head of a company that pumps billions of tons of carbon into the air (directly or indirectly) has a lot more to lose (short term, we all lose long term) if Al Gore is right.

A Message (1)

Constantine XVI (880691) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856688)

From: myself To: The Republicans Subject: The Internet Congradulations. You finally learned how to use the Internet. Now go to your keyboards and type up laws to protect that usage for everyone. PS: Remember, this is a Slotocracy. All it takes is 3 mules in November and you're out of power.

This PROVES global warming is REAL! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15856691)

It costs money to take down demagogues backed by the high net worth mavens of the political Left. Am I supposed to care if companies servicing the Oil & Gas industries lead the charge against those who would tax my gasoline, regulate the size of my automobile, subject the U.S. to international treaties biased toward the developing world and throw barriers in front of new domestic exploration and production? Am I supposed to favor spending my own money directly advocating my interests? I'd rather the concentrated economic powers with a stake in servicing ME as a consumer jump in and wrestle the hypocritical left so I don't have to.

Re:This PROVES global warming is REAL! (1)

Oldav (533444) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856732)

You are a moron You sound like exactly the sort this video was made for. Lets see, big SUV(overcompensation). You need a large car to compensate for your groinal area inadequacies International treaties biased towards developing world=Id rather they starve so I can have my SUV and McDonalds, why shouldnt I waste 10x the ammount of a vanishing resource as everyone else? Make sure you keep your ludicrous farm subsidies that cause the need for such treaties, pay farmers not to produce! No wonder your an AC!

Backfire (1)

skinfitz (564041) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856701)

I saw the video a few days ago - the thing is I didn't know Al Gore had a movie out about global warming - I want to see that.

Even wierder: The Megaphone Desktop Toolbar (5, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856704)

There are wierder online PR things. See the Megaphone Desktop Toolbar. [giyus.org] This is a piece of software designed to pump up pro-Israel responses in online polls and blogs. The toolbar pops up "alerts" when some central site sends them out. Nothing new there. But when it tells the user about a poll, the options are to vote their way, automatically, or not to vote at all. Site-specific scripts do the voting for you. Cute.

It is supposedly distributed on behalf of the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs [standwithus.com]. That's a new development - government sponsored adware. But that may be a fake endorsement. The "gyius.org" site itself has a "cloaked domain", and the "standwithus.org" site with the endorsement has phony domain registration info. There's no real contact info for either. There's an EULA with no real company name, and mention of a remote update capability. So this may be some clever scheme to get people to install adware/spyware.

Somebody in the security business or the press really should chase this down. There's been an article in The Globe and Mail [theglobeandmail.com], but it's not about the technology.

DCI also runs Tech Central Station (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15856721)

DCI also runs Tech Central Station [techcentralstation.com], a website frequently referred to by Slashdot and its readers [google.com]. DCI's client list includes AT&T, Intel, Microsoft, and many others [sourcewatch.org]. According to their own website [dcigroup.com], they specialize in "Corporate Grassroots Campaigns" and "Internet Communications and Mobilization". They helped the Swift Boat attacks [sourcewatch.org] on Kerry and now this astroturf attack on Gore. To TCS' credit its not like they hide who owns them [tcsdaily.com].

The lesson is, be skeptical. Don't trust someone or somebody unless they give you a good reason to do so. Don't trust me - click the links above.

Justified? (0, Flamebait)

treak007 (985345) | more than 7 years ago | (#15856726)

Well, considering how much propoganda comes out, especially from the left (I mean seriously Michael Moore movies are nothing but lies and propaganda), does it really matter if it's from the GOP or not. Sounds to me like another news story trying to be cool by bashing the GOP and trying to dig up any dirt they can find.

But regardless, if you think it's funny, then watch it. If you don't agree, then point your browser somewhere else, but don't bitch 24/7 about it being propganda or from the GOP.
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