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124 comments

An 'actual' fake blog? (0)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 6 years ago | (#22630078)

This is different from all of the 419/v1@gr@ blogs on blogger how, exactly...?

Re:An 'actual' fake blog? (1)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 6 years ago | (#22631912)

they're talking about knock off products, not plain old fakes. They could be Taliban members sending you gerbil food for all you know with those blogs advertising their crap. That's right, I'm breaking that story right here, right now. The Taliban sells fake gerbil food Viagra on blogs. Anyway, this was way more deceptive too. Marketing people are evil bastards with no morals and I think they should all go to hell. That's my solution. Oh and the students should be expelled for being such douchebags.

Re:An 'actual' fake blog? (1)

arivanov (12034) | more than 6 years ago | (#22632786)

In that case the university may have to expel most of its MBA school. We now provide special training so that the students can become improved and proficient douchebags.

Fake Blog, Fake Student- (1, Redundant)

Naughty Bob (1004174) | more than 6 years ago | (#22630088)

It sounds like those companies really have a handle on how to get the youth on-side.

Re:Fake Blog, Fake Student- (1, Offtopic)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 6 years ago | (#22630136)

"Why does the porridge bird lay its egg in the air?"

Re:Fake Blog, Fake Student- (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22630280)

Son, I hate to be the one to tell you this, but that's not porridge.

Re:Fake Blog, Fake Student- (3, Funny)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 6 years ago | (#22631086)

Birdy, birdy, in the sky
Dropped some whitewash in my eye
I'm a big kid, I won't cry
I'm just glad elephants can't fly.

Re:Fake Blog, Fake Student- (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22634132)

Birdy, birdy, in the sky
  Dropped some whitewash in my eye
  I'm a big kid, I won't cry
  I'm just glad elephants can't fly.


Burma Shave

Re:Fake Blog, Fake Student- (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22634214)

Wasn't Tuesday in my time zone at time of posting, silly.

Re:Fake Blog, Fake Student- (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22634340)

Birdy, birdy, in the sky
Dropped some whitewash in my eye
I'm a big kid, I won't cry
I'm just glad elephants can't fly.

dude, thats the issue here, it was an elephant!!!

if it was just a local bisness man whos son make a fake blog about his dads buisness, without letting on that it was his dads, then that would have been a birdy...

Re:Fake Blog, Fake Student- (1)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 6 years ago | (#22631172)

"Why does the porridge bird lay its egg in the air?"

White dust the poor rich Barney lay its eggs in the eyre? HONK Delay. You have violated Robot's Rules of Order and will be asked to leave the future immediately.

Ref: soup-through-nose computer humour from the Nixon Administration - punch-card era stuff, remarkably visionary. Firesign Theatre, "I Think We're All Bozos On This Bus". Very strongly recommended.

Re:Fake Blog, Fake Student- (4, Interesting)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 6 years ago | (#22630250)

Authenticity and originality are key to the youth demographic and they know it. The problem is that ads have failed at those for a long time. Some ads can still do it through humor and strange premises (like the old spice ads I love so much). Unfortunately, people are smart, and copying another ad campaign's success backfires more often than not.

It's a problem that's crept up on them for the last few years. Frankly, I'm shocked that corporations are struggling to look authentic and original.

Re:Fake Blog, Fake Student- (1)

Fear the Clam (230933) | more than 6 years ago | (#22630608)

Authenticity and originality are key to the youth demographic

Which is pretty funny considering what a bunch of sheep the youth demographic is.

Re:Fake Blog, Fake Student- (5, Interesting)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 6 years ago | (#22630694)

Which is pretty funny considering what a bunch of sheep the youth demographic is.
As someone who's old enough to have seen several "youth demographics" come and go, I can tell you that this generation is less sheep-like than the previous 3 or 4.

Re:Fake Blog, Fake Student- (1)

pintpusher (854001) | more than 6 years ago | (#22631240)

I'm with you but unfortunately it may be a simple matter of these sheep looking less sheep like to our aging eyes.

Somewhere in there is a good joke, but I'll leave that to those whippersnappers messin' around on my lawn.

Re:Fake Blog, Fake Student- (1)

alshithead (981606) | more than 6 years ago | (#22633218)

"As someone who's old enough to have seen several "youth demographics" come and go, I can tell you that this generation is less sheep-like than the previous 3 or 4."

Respectfully, I disagree. I think they are more sheep-like and that their "entitled" attitude stems from that sheep-like lack of critical thought. They have been completely sold on being consumer entities and not having to work to get the consumer items they want.

Re:Fake Blog, Fake Student- (3, Insightful)

NevermindPhreak (568683) | more than 6 years ago | (#22634302)

I think you two are defining two different "youth" groups. You're probably thinking of high-schoolers or college kids. Your parent post is probably thinking of people in their early to mid twenties. From a marketing standpoint, the 18-25 age group is more desirable, or so I'm told.

You two probably have different personal experiences with "youth demographics" as well.

Personally, I'm 23. I have a full time job, pay for school on the side, and pay my own mortgage. While I think some commercials are funny (Chuck Norris Old Spice comes to mind), I almost never buy that product. Most of my friends feel the same way.

Re:Fake Blog, Fake Student- (5, Funny)

jimdread (1089853) | more than 6 years ago | (#22630702)

Authenticity and originality are key to the youth demographic and they know it.

Once they work out how to fake authenticity, they'll crack the youth demographic wide open.

Re:Fake Blog, Fake Student- (2, Insightful)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 6 years ago | (#22631746)

Authenticity and originality are key to the youth demographic and they know it.

Oh come on now, let's be serious. Any youth who is original is picked on by the rest of the herd. Anyone who displays product labels prominently as a means of self expression is not being unique, no matter how "authentic" all the other youth claim it to be. The youth demographic is all about peer pressure and fitting in with a group, even for the statistical outliers (goths, emos, hippies, punks, and other counter-culture). The current trend in peer pressure is based a lot upon brand names and having the correct ("authentic") brand names and displaying the brand names to show that you're fitting in, but it's not really that different from the past.

Re:Fake Blog, Fake Student- (1)

vyrus128 (747164) | more than 6 years ago | (#22632398)

Authenticity and originality are key to the youth demographic and they know it.

Seriously. Once you can fake authenticity, you've got it made.

(Apologies to George Burns.)

Maybe this was a class about irony (5, Funny)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#22630096)

Cooperate sponsored fraud in order to deter legal purchases of questionable knock-off products.

Re:Maybe this was a class about irony (1)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 6 years ago | (#22630272)

It's to prepare them for their careers in advertising.

Re:Maybe this was a class about irony (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 6 years ago | (#22631898)

It's to prepare them for their careers in advertising.

Most of them have already been employed.

They're all over in this [slashdot.org] discussion explaining how Vista isn't really slow and annoying.

Nope, definitely not! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22632002)

It was a marketing class, not an ethics class, you see.

Now, it does point out something I didn't realize. It seems that marketers had to be taught to be amoral. I suppose I figured that they started out that way or something...

What a screw up. (3, Insightful)

gnutoo (1154137) | more than 6 years ago | (#22630114)

I love the brag [iacc.org] . The Industry Conclusion is correct, though not the way they want it to be.

Conclusion:
The campaign will live beyond the event as the Web sites will remain live, and students will be reminded by the giveaways to Break the Chain of harmful of harmful events that can result from counterfeiting.

They are going to have a hard time living this one down. Fake blogs, with more than 300 myspace friends, including Justin Timberlake! What they have managed to do is indelibly link their brands to fake. Hyped, expensive fake regardless of real quality. How do they expect anyone to trust them again? Their stuff is better why? Because they spend money on BS like this? Because the "real" stuff comes from a sweat shop with a sharper whip? It's hard to imagine a better example of the harm imaginary property does and they festering pile of lies that supports it.

Well, they now admit it (5, Interesting)

HairyNevus (992803) | more than 6 years ago | (#22630124)

The blog finally admitted that it was fake: http://encounterheidi.blogspot.com/2007/05/here-is-catch-i-am-totally-not-real.html [blogspot.com] . I love how the students who created this blog chose the ditsy valley girl stereotype to convey their message, and stuck with the persona 'till the bitter end: "Here is the catch- I am totally not real!"...the bolding was me.

Re:Well, they now admit it (1)

Is0m0rph (819726) | more than 6 years ago | (#22631882)

I like how the fake blogger blogged that she couldn't make the anti-counterfeiting event because her uncle had a stroke! WTF?: "first off, let me start by apologizing for not being there today! my uncle had a stroke Wednesday night and we all had to drive out to jersey to be with him. Crappy timing right? Everything is ok now, hes fine... his lip was paralyzed but hes slowly regaining feeling and movement now =D Well I wasn't about to let that get in the way of ruining my anti-counterfeiting event! The show must go on! "

Re:Well, they now admit it (1)

AmishElvis (1101979) | more than 6 years ago | (#22632100)

I love how the students who created this blog chose the ditsy valley girl stereotype to convey their message, and stuck with the persona 'till the bitter end


Um... I don't think that's a persona...

Re:Well, they now admit it (1)

aproposofwhat (1019098) | more than 6 years ago | (#22634126)

Barf out! Gag me with a spoon - that comment was like totally grody...

I won't get that damn song [lyricsfreak.com] out of my head all afternoon now, you insensitive clod!

Ironic (5, Insightful)

Presence1 (524732) | more than 6 years ago | (#22630134)

They are attempting to create a counterfeit person to persuade people to dislike counterfeit goods.

Counterfeiting of goods does suck, but this does not seem to be the way to get people on your side...

Re:Ironic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22630434)

It would be really ironic if this was a double secret test for an ethics class that the students were taking at the same time... and they all failed.

Do as I say, not as I do (2, Informative)

Jherek Carnelian (831679) | more than 6 years ago | (#22630140)

The industry group in question was the IACC - International anti-Counterfeiting Coallition - their mandate being to fight the production and sale o fraudulent knock off products. They were essentially paying for a class to create a fraudulent student with a fraudulent blog while preventing any sort of critical discussion or analysis in the class.

Ho hum. Just another case of corporate hypocrisy, move along, move along....

fraudulent knock off products (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22632840)

Real world analysis: western corporation uses built up societal infrastructure and resources to create brand name and products, using domestic sources, domestic labor, etc and profits. A lot of winners, investors, owners, labor, local top national governments with robust tax base, etc. Fast forward in time to "knockoffs" part- High level decision to move production offshore where it is cheaper, one production run is made-these are now realistically the first generation of the "knockoffs" (although they won't admit it, they are in fact knockoffs compared to the original models in the original nation), sold back to original nation for very short term megaprofit for top 1% or less of the population, the original nation loses a ton of wealth producing jobs and tax base. Offshored nation then takes entire research that's been handed to them free of charge, clones it, sells it, and is in position to lather rinse repeat ad infinitum because no effective "legal" countermeasures are possible against nuclear armed large nation who have proven to be quite capable of ignoring any and all so called "intellectual property" laws. Play acting at little busts now and then results in nothing, corporations in offshored nation can be dropped on the fly and rebuilt under a new name whenever it is necessary.

Moral of story, when large corporations go out of their way to screw their own neighbors and create knockoffs offshore for short term profits over and above the normal profits they were getting in the first place, they should stop whining when the practice continues, what did they expect? They started and legitimized the practice.

OUTRAGE! (5, Funny)

Urger (817972) | more than 6 years ago | (#22630226)

As a Hunter student I am outraged that I was not monetarily compensated with part of this graft.

Educational Standards? (2, Insightful)

owlnation (858981) | more than 6 years ago | (#22630264)

You can add patronizing to that list.

If students are so dumb that they need to be told basic smarts by a blog (fake or otherwise) then they should not be in University.

Re:Educational Standards? (3, Insightful)

Protonk (599901) | more than 6 years ago | (#22630384)

to what basic smarts are we referring? Distinguishing counterfeit products from the real thing? Can you do that unerringly? Can you tell me the difference between a knockoff of windows XP and the real thing? Can you tell me the difference between a knockoff brake cleaner and a brand name brake cleaner? Maybe, but I would hardly classify that as "basic smarts" or a prerequisite to entering college.

Perhaps you are referring to a willingness to choose the "real" product over the knockoff. Here you are on unstable ground. In some cases (heart surgery, car parts, etc), the quality of the product is not immediately visible to the buyer and can't be divined by inspection. In that case, there is a strong argument to be made that avoiding knockoff products is good sense. You can't eyeball a hydraulic line to see if it will fail catastrophically. In the case of DVD's, CD's and purses, the need is less severe. There isn't a buyer safety issue. if your knockoff version of Rush Hour XXVII sucks, then it isn't the end of the world. the people who suffer are the industry (because they can't sell you a copy of something you already have) so it is THEIR interest that is being protected here, not yours.

Which part of this is common sense?

Why (1)

AtomicDevice (926814) | more than 6 years ago | (#22630364)

I want to meet the kids that would sign up for a class like that. It's like those anti-piracy commercials they put at the beginning of rental dvd's "Hey kids, do what the man says, or we'll make you sign a settlement for a couple grand, and tell your friends how not cool it is"

Re:Why (1)

Protonk (599901) | more than 6 years ago | (#22630412)

I think it probably fills up because there is a big requirement at most colleges in order to ensure that students have a strong "liberal arts" background. What really happens is that classes like this get filled up as students look around for easy classes to pad a schedule.

If I had to choose between this class and Intermediate Macroeconomics as a filler, I would probably choose this course.

Re:Why (1)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | more than 6 years ago | (#22630798)

I never understood students who choose filler. There are so many interesting courses, I was struggling with fitting them all in. With the exception of a foreign language, I never had to take any class I did not want to take. And yes, a foreign language is a good thing to know, but I found it extraordinarily difficult.

Re:Why (2, Interesting)

Protonk (599901) | more than 6 years ago | (#22630910)

Why not? I mean, there are interesting courses to take but for most students at large universities the course description doesn't really provide a very good guide as to the nature of the course and the expectations. I'm not interested in filler courses completely--they tend to make me not want to show up and to ride on prior knowledge but I will take them for a few reasons:

1. Prereq's: I don't want to take into to biology in order to take a zoology course. I don't want to take (this is probably a better example) Psych 101 in order to take a course on the pathology of brain disorders and the functions of the brain on a chemical level. I know that for some of these courses I can have the prerequisites waived by the instructor, but I don't want to have to go through that with every class.

2. Unknown intended course audience: Is that course on Intermediate Finance aimed at econ majors? Business majors? Is it a requirement to graduate from any particular school? Those will impact how the class is taught and to what level of detail and that is pretty important to me.

3. Non-zero cost of searching: It is actually pretty hard to spend time and sit in on classes at the beginning of the semester to get a feel for how they will meet your needs. I can't look at 20 classes outside of my major in order to see which books are required, what level of involvement is expected and what I will learn. That is just simple too many add/drop forms to work through and too many scheduling problems to work out.

I don't mean to say that students take filler courses that they hate (but this is often the case), but I do mean to say that arbitrary breadth requirements by universities lead to large numbers of students taking Astronomy 100 and so forth.

bah (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 6 years ago | (#22630392)

Idiotic. As a Hunter alum I'm extremely disappointed. The professors at the school always kicked ass, but we got screwed on the administration a few times.

They should be debating the ethics of high book... (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 6 years ago | (#22630432)

They should be debating the ethics of high book costs and the small changes that force you to buy a new book each year for no new info as well other carp fees that are pushing College costs up not stuff like this.

Re:They should be debating the ethics of high book (1)

Protonk (599901) | more than 6 years ago | (#22631002)

Do you propose that there is a tradeoff? Does the debate over academic integrity somehow preclude a debate over textbook pricing? Also, it is patently clear how and why textbook price increases world. Textbooks are durable goods, but are used only once (usually) by the first owner. The owner then has a strong incentive to resell the book to the next student in line. Textbook makers KNOW this, so it is in their interest to get schools to push to "student editions", "editions with added material" and new editions for each class. Schools are in a position to agree because that means more money for professors who write the textbooks and they don't front the cost. It isn't an ethical problem. It is a fairness problem and an economic problem.

A large number of professors are searching for ways to allow students to avoid these costs. Most professors I know allow students to use old editions, check new editions of from the library and offer excerpts of the books online for free. Most students that I know buy books used and don't bother with newer editions unless the professor is adamant about it--even then they usually don't get the book.

This isn't an ethical problem. It isn't one actor imposing his will on a large number of students. It is a market reaction to a group of people who are largely indifferent to changes in costs. in other words, as the economy moves from manufacturing to service oriented, the value of a college degree grows. As that value grows, the willingness to attain it grows likewise. For things that are limited in supply and desirable to obtain, price usually doesn't deter buyers TOO much. As a BA/BS becomes basically required to be competitive (we aren't there yet, but we are close), people will become less sensitive to the price of education. WE ought to look to ways to stop this problem before it consumes too much money and forces too many poor people away from education. That debate is important, but it occurs in parallel with demands for academic independence. In some cases defending academic independence helps keep the cost of education down.

Re:They should be debating the ethics of high book (1)

Workaphobia (931620) | more than 6 years ago | (#22631848)

Why not both? Personally I'm more miffed about forced non-textbook purchases than I am about textbook costs themselves. For instance, there are professors who mandate textbooks for the electronic homework or testing accounts they come with, even though the book itself is essentially unnecessary for the course. I haven't been burnt by that personally, but I have had to purchase other supplemental learning software that was entirely unnecessary in principle but required for my grade.

Stop the lies! (4, Funny)

iamacat (583406) | more than 6 years ago | (#22630458)

The blog was not sponsored! I met this poor Heidi girl and she was really heartbroken about that counterfeit handbag, so we swapped our sob stories. I got real cool Dell as a birthday present, but then it turned out it had a counterfeit copy of Vista installed. Not only the wallpaper had a slightly different color, but the fonts on the screen were not as crisp and defined as on REAL Vista. Worst of all, I couldn't enjoy any of the Windows Genuine Advantage downloads.

Then I started reading up on that and discovered that software counterfeiting is invariably linked to crime and even terrorism. Wouldn't somebody think of the children! Be a broken link in the chain and stop software piracy! Most importantly, don't undermine american capitalism by using free software that is anyway full of stolen code and patent infringements!

Read the full article (5, Interesting)

Protonk (599901) | more than 6 years ago | (#22630468)

The "fake blog" portion of the story is compelling, but it isn't the whole story. all in all, the actions of the university and the coalition (the IACC) were pretty repugnant. The school engineered the course to teach the industry viewpoint and ensured (via industry observers) that the professor did not deviate from the talking points. when the story initially broke, the school decided that it was an internal matter and didn't merit any outside scrutiny.

The professor in question voiced real ethical problems with the course but was basically told to shut up and teach--because he didn't have tenure that was pretty much his only option. The job market for PhD's without tenure isn't exactly robust.

Never mind that this was basically taxpayer subsidized indoctrination.

Re:Read the full article (1)

solar_blitz (1088029) | more than 6 years ago | (#22630636)

The school engineered the course to teach the industry viewpoint and ensured (via industry observers) that the professor did not deviate from the talking points. when the story initially broke, the school decided that it was an internal matter and didn't merit any outside scrutiny

The professor in question voiced real ethical problems with the course but was basically told to shut up and teach--because he didn't have tenure that was pretty much his only option. The job market for PhD's without tenure isn't exactly robust.


I don't think the professor deserves nearly the same amount of blame as the administrators and the IACC, either. The course sounds like it was designed by a fascist regime than any American company, which is ironic, since the list of IACC members is a who's-who of American conglomerates: [iacc.org] Abercrombie & Fitch, AOL Time Warner, and The Walt Disney Company, to name just a few.

Re:Read the full article (1)

Protonk (599901) | more than 6 years ago | (#22630670)

I don't think that he deserves a fraction of the blame that the administration and the companies do. I'm not prepared to call this fascist or what-not, but it is pretty indefensible as education and inadvisable as marketing.

Re:Read the full article (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 6 years ago | (#22630684)

Fascism. You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Re:Read the full article (1)

solar_blitz (1088029) | more than 6 years ago | (#22630754)

Ok, fascism is not the word, but the orders given by the IACC to Portlock definitely sounded like the course was intended for something other than academia. Otherwise, they would not have aimed it at college students.

Re:Read the full article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22630878)

The professor in question voiced real ethical problems with the course but was basically told to shut up and teach--because he didn't have tenure that was pretty much his only option.

Ahh, the Nuremberg Defense [wikipedia.org] . "I was only following orders". If the professor has "real ethical problems", he should have resigned rather than teach the course. That's what we call "ethics". If everybody just "follows orders" because they don't think the job market is good enough, we'll end up in a very screwed up world.

Re:Read the full article (4, Insightful)

Protonk (599901) | more than 6 years ago | (#22630920)

where do you people come from? why do you even bother formating this post to quote me and link this? I mean, why don't you just yell at your houseplant or something? Let me know when you have a modicum of understanding of the following words:

ethics
severity
continuum
contradiction
proportionality

Don't strain yourself.

Re:Read the full article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22632768)

Never mind that this was basically taxpayer subsidized indoctrination.

I believe the proper terminology is "public school"

I see BLOWBACK! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22630504)

Now that it has been shown beyond all reasonable doubt that the IP-industrial-complex had been engaging in propagandizing, I wonder how those students who willingly cooperated with these personifications of evil feel. Oh how their reputations have been now-and-forever tainted, soiled, sullied and disgraced by the purveyors of GREED! What else is there to academia than to stand as an alternative to and a critic of the vagaries and exigences of commerce?

Dumping gasoline on a fire is never enough, so there has been added ammonium perchlorate co-spray.

Re:I see BLOWBACK! (1)

Protonk (599901) | more than 6 years ago | (#22630544)

What a reasoned and thoughtful statement. I'm so glad that you allow for room on both sides of the discussion.

It's obvious (1)

Mr. Freeman (933986) | more than 6 years ago | (#22630570)

Won't it be a little obvious that it's fake when people read "So yesterday I was listening to my Ipod, don't buy a zune or anything else, buy an ipod because they're so much better, and I saw a cute girl" "and then today I was driving in my DODGE CHARGER, buy a dodge charger, don't buy ford made products".

Also, why are professors debating the ethics of the course? Was the course created knowing that some company was going to pay the students to make a fake blog? Seems to me this issue should have been dealt with long ago.

Re:It's obvious (1)

Workaphobia (931620) | more than 6 years ago | (#22631264)

I'm so tired of instances of astroturfing or guerrilla marketing where the entity creating the fake material doesn't respect the target audience enough to make it look convincing. To you corporations looking to create more fake blogs: Sprinkling "omg this sucks" and gratuitous exclamation points does not automatically convince even the most idiotic member of the younger generation that you are one of them. Please try to have some tact, some sense of subtlety, both in the writing and the artificial circumstances (i.e., plot). Overacting doesn't convince anyone.

Is this a problem? (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 6 years ago | (#22630612)

As long as there was a prominent disclaimer at the top saying "this blog is a work of fiction and is done as a class project under the auspices of Dr. I. M. Controversial at QuestionableEthics University" then I don't see the problem.

What's that you say? There wasn't a disclaimer? The student gets an F.

wth? (1)

ezwip (974076) | more than 6 years ago | (#22630624)

With the right lawyer this thing could snowball.

Main Entry: 1libel
Pronunciation: \l-bl\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, written declaration, from Anglo-French, from Latin libellus, diminutive of liber book
Date: 14th century
1 a: a written statement in which a plaintiff in certain courts sets forth the cause of action or the relief sought barchaic : a handbill especially attacking or defaming someone
2 a: a written or oral defamatory statement or representation that conveys an unjustly unfavorable impression b (1): a statement or representation published without just cause and tending to expose another to public contempt (2): defamation of a person by written or representational means (3): the publication of blasphemous, treasonable, seditious, or obscene writings or pictures (4): the act, tort, or crime of publishing such a libel

Re:wth? (1)

Protonk (599901) | more than 6 years ago | (#22630832)

Libel laws are pretty forgiving in the United States as the 1st ammendment protects a lot of factually incorrect/misleading speech. England and commonwealth countries have stronger libel/slander laws.

Also....why are you quoting a dictionary to suggest that legal trouble is afoot?

Double Dipping & Possible Sunshine Law Violati (3, Interesting)

protektor (63514) | more than 6 years ago | (#22630700)

I would love to know if the students also had to pay for the class, just like they do for any other class. Also did the students get a full outline of the class before they signed up for it, like most other classes offer?

Sounds to me like this is a case of double dipping. The school gets the corporation to pay for the class, and then they turn around and get the students to pay for the class as well. I'm sure every University and College would love to be paid double for each class they teach. Sounds like this is more about the greed of the school, than it is about actual teaching.

Also where is the state on this? I don't know about their state but the state of Missouri has Sunshine laws. Basically if you take state or government money, then everything has to be open and clearly detailed about what you do with the money and everything associated with it. You can't have secret board meetings, or secretly spend the money on anything. Everything in the school has to be open and transparent, even school groups that receive money from the school, since they get it from the government.

Sounds like a *HUGE* violation of the "Sunshine laws" to say that this whole review, etc. is an internal school matter. It certainly would not be the case in Missouri.

Remember... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22630772)

It's stealing if you buy a fake Coach sweatshop-produced bag, but it's only immoral to buy a real sweatshop-produced bag!

IACC members link (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 6 years ago | (#22630966)

For anyone interested in complaining to the member companies about this... here is a link [iacc.org] to their membership list.

Some members are no surprise and don't care if their customers hate them (RIAA, MPAA). Others are more likely to respond to bad press (Apple, Microsoft, Vivendi). Other sponsors are directly responsible, such as the government agencies (many in the USA and Canada) and the states of North Carolina and Wisconsin.

Send a letter or e-mail, maybe this crap will not happen again, at least not in academia where it is so easily detected.

It might teach them a good lesson in a way (1)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 6 years ago | (#22631068)

Don't believe everything you read online, from any source. MSM, bloggers, etc. Look at what they're saying and evaluate it against other information.

Re:It might teach them a good lesson in a way (1)

Protonk (599901) | more than 6 years ago | (#22631182)

That's the accidental lesson here. The course COULD be taught critically. in other words, company materials could be used alongside materials from people critical of international copyright consortiums. Or, 1/2 the class could write a fake blog about the subject with clever but clear hints that it is fake and the other half could be assigned a paper on it (assuming they didn't communicate). Each side could get a bonus for tricking the other or ferreting out trickery.

Backlash experiment? (1)

immel (699491) | more than 6 years ago | (#22631136)

The people at the IACC seem like your typical corporate droids, but they can't be stupid. The must have known when they first commandeered the course that the truth would come out after the course ended ("Heidi" herself admitted she was fake May 2007, at the end of the spring semester), and that guerrilla marketing has a failure mode which frequently involves consumer backlash.

This makes me wonder: Was this whole thing (or at least part of it) an experiment to gauge the intensity and duration of our backlash?

If so, I hope they get the message. The comments on Heidi's blog aren't much more forgiving than the ones on slashdot.

Re:Backlash experiment? (1)

Protonk (599901) | more than 6 years ago | (#22631226)

I HIGHLY doubt this. Remember, "never attribute to conspiracy what may be explained by incompetence" (or words to that effect, I dodn't remember the exact quote). Although the people responsible for this might not have been stupid, that isn't a necessary condition. They clearly had the administration by the balls on this one, so why not pursue any goal? They were probably sponsoring a course and some research at the university, so why not move it along?

The backlash inherent to astroturfing is not something that is well realized by corporate figures who are just starting to figure this shit out. Smart marketing companies have this figured out already. They don't bother with astroturfing this obvious. They also know better than to do it in such an obvious way. Most companies aren't that smart. Most are just figuring out this whole 'series of tubes' and are trying to work against it or around it. They are slowly coming to realize the power of the web, but they haven't yet realized the depth of it. This is patently obvious from their attempt here.

Also, as a rule, don't assume that anything on slashdot matters.

Guerilla Marketing, Astroturfing, and others... (1)

trims (10010) | more than 6 years ago | (#22631146)

Honestly, if we had an F.T.C. with any balls in this country, they'd spent a lot more time coordinating with the Fraud division of Justice Department and stop this kind of crap, plus all the damn astroturfing, and that stupid "guerilla marketing" stuff. It's all fraud, pure and simple.

With any sensible reading of the fraud and deceptive marketing sections of the law (sections under US Code Title 15, plus others) surely covers all the tactics used in this kind of activity. Remember, we're talking commercial speech, which has considerably different protections and limitations.

Problem, of course, is that the FTC has been stacked with appointees from industry. Foxes guarding the henhouse, again, as usual. Sadly, this has been going across multiple administrations, and I'm not sure that it will change.

-Erik

This is not new (1)

harm5way (616066) | more than 6 years ago | (#22631346)

Students, especially in technology and business programs, like to receive real hands-on experience. These courses review case studies of real companies facing real challenges on a regular basis. In any other situation, students doing work for credit at a private firm would be considered an internship. There's no real difference, so what's different here? Coach has a counterfeiting problem. How do marketing and PR students handle this? They explored the idea of using a fake blog. It was academic research. Nothing new here- this is consistently done all the time in psychology: the double blind experiment.

I don't see a problem with the sponsorship either. Indirectly, students become indoctrinated (others would say specialized) with "corporate" branding throughout their studies anyway. Math and statistics courses tend to focus on using certain packages, for example Mathematica and SPSS. In computer science, it's either the Microsoft suite or specific open source products like MySQL (why not PostgreSQL?) Likewise, biology labs tend to use certain methods with corresponding complex equipment like DNA sequencers, PCR kits, RNA microarrays, etc., especially in biotech courses. Some skills are learned in school that way.

Re:This is not new (2, Insightful)

Protonk (599901) | more than 6 years ago | (#22631938)

are you serious? Do you really think the fundamental problem cited in the article is the existence of the blog? While I conceed the point that students in more hard science fields see corporate sponsorship more regularly, the issue here was that the IACC was obviously dictating course content as well as monitoring the professor for compliance. On top of that, students were forced to do unpaid marketing work for the IACC and not allowed to explore in class the possibility that such a demand might not be right.

I mean please tell me that you read the article (or even some of the comments explaining it) and you came up with "academic research" and "experimenting with a fake blog". Because if you did, I've got a bridge in brooklyn to sell you.

Re:This is not new (1)

smellotron (1039250) | more than 6 years ago | (#22631970)

In computer science, it's either the Microsoft suite...
Only one class I was in ever allowed Visual Studio building. Everything else was either Sun or Redhat Linux, due to the command-line handin program for machine problems.

... or specific open source products like MySQL (why not PostgreSQL?)

I don't remember ever using MySQL in a single computer science. We used Oracle/JDBC for a databases course (MySQL probably wouldn't cut it, from a technical "look at the guts" point of view). The graduate level course involved students adding features to PostgreSQL, though I don't know how often those features were accepted by the maintainers.

Indoctrination of corporate branding? Maybe in a vocational curriculum (where it makes sense, since the goal is producing marketable skills), but certainly not in a good computer science curriculum (where the goal is advancing the theoretical state-of-the-art and producing researching skills).

This is what happens... (1)

LaskoVortex (1153471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22631496)

...when education deviates from first principles. You start getting courses like "guerilla marketing" or "late Byzantine Women's Studies" or "Topics in Gay Poetry". Though these are probably worth someone's time to study, are they really right for undergraduates who need an education rich in basic skills? Disclaimer: Not against guerillas, late Byzantine Women, or Gay Poets. Just *for* learning basic skills first.

Pretty soon, everything is a potential topic and departments find they can be talked into anything. They are especially vulnerable when some industry group dangles a monetary carrot on the end.

Hunter said they now have a committee to review new industry sponsored courses. First, *now*? Why not before? Second, *all* new courses should submit to faculty review in the department that will teach the course. A proposed syllabus should be reviewed at the bare minimum with a discussion of the teaching approach.

Shameless Anti-capitalists (1)

Bob9113 (14996) | more than 6 years ago | (#22631556)

Shit like this is why I want to scream whenever I hear corporations whining about anti-trust laws and how the free market should be allowed to self-regulate. Here's a thought; stop working so hard to break the perfect information that is a fundamental requirement of efficient free market capitalism, and maybe I'll take you a little more seriously.

If you're going to show such complete lack of respect for Adam Smith's ideals, it is unreasonable to ask the government to abide by them. Once you decide to stand up and compete like an honorable person, then you can invoke the term "free market" in your defense.

Let me get this straight... (1)

tompaulco (629533) | more than 6 years ago | (#22631666)

...you're supposed to get your ideas of which brand of product to buy by reading blogs? Even ones apparently run by a valley girl? Wow! I have been truly been barking up the wrong tree.

Isn't this the same scam they run on tv ads? (1)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 6 years ago | (#22631736)

Hello. I ate at Subway and lost 200 lbs. So start eating so you can lose weight too!

I've used BioFlex, and I have rock hard abs. Of course, I earned mine through lots of situps, but I did use BioFlex for a minute before they paid me a lot to be a model on this commercial.

Re:Isn't this the same scam they run on tv ads? (1)

the brown guy (1235418) | more than 6 years ago | (#22632410)

What's your point...those people have lost X pounds, have used the BOWflex, even if it was only a few times. They are exaggerating the effect that this miraculous machine has had to sell more units, and if people are stupid enough to believe them, then they deserve to be parted with their wallets.

unbelievable ads (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 6 years ago | (#22631860)

Did anyone else check out the fake blog/pages? There was a banner ad for a service where you can rent designer purses so you can show them off and then return them without having to pay the full price. It seemed to be a real service. The fact that such a company can stay in business is probably a sign of the apocalypse. Does anyone really know anyone who is so obsessed with designer brands that they would do such a thing? I can actually understand buying a designer product if you believe they actually make better products and are worth the cost. I sometimes pay more for a product from a company who has proven they make quality goods. But do people really buy (or rent) designer products for the sole purpose of showing off... conspicuous consumption of purses?

It makes me appreciate all the intelligent and deviant friends I have all the more. The only brands they consume conspicuously are on the opposite end, with titles like "black label" and "old crow."

Re:unbelievable ads (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22633704)

a service where you can rent designer purses

I don't know how successful this business is, but chicks really get into their purses. But you need to be careful and not pigeon-hole them. I once asked if a chick was a "Dooney and Burke bitch" and she got very annoyed, even though she had one on her shoulder. I guess they don't like it when dudes think chicks own only one kind of designer purse.

I doubt it would read as genuine (1)

lena_10326 (1100441) | more than 6 years ago | (#22631918)

Marketing agencies spend a lot on infomercials and they never, ever ring true. They're always obvious inside of 60 seconds of viewing. I can't see how a fake blog would be any different.

Re:I doubt it would read as genuine (1)

AlXtreme (223728) | more than 6 years ago | (#22633712)

Marketing agencies spend a lot on infomercials and they never, ever ring true. They're always obvious inside of 60 seconds of viewing. I can't see how a fake blog would be any different.

100% infomercials are naturally easy to spot, but what about product placement in regular programs? That bottle of Coke(r) that your favorite star just drank? Or even movies like The Island, with over-the-top-obvious Microsoft-placements, but only if you're a geek? A random person might just think that that Xbox-thingy looks pretty cool.

Infomercials are made by the lowest of the marketeers, but the big boys make sure you can't avoid them and hopefully won't even notice their products are being marketed. In this case, you might be browsing for comments about a product, and a random blog or two states that said product sucks. Would you still buy it? I know I'd reconsider.

This is pure astroturfing, and in my opinion completely unethical. But I'm afraid anyone working in marketing has any remaining scrap of ethics surgically removed.

Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22631974)

But I thought I had a date with you tonight?

They should call the blog 'Funzo' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22633338)

Terri: [holding stuffed animal] It should be soft and cuddly.
Bart: Yeah, with lots of firepower.
Milhouse: Its eyes should be telescopes! No, periscopes! No, microscopes!
                    Can you come back to me?

The damage done (1)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 6 years ago | (#22633606)

by guerrilla marketing to the social fabric vastly outweighs any possible social benefit it could bestow. People practicing it should be wiped out of business without mercy or restraint. For society to work, we have to routinely extend a certain level of trust to people we don't know personally. When that trust is abused by people trying to sneak their products in front of your face with lies and misrepresentation, one of the pillars of society is undermined.

I always thought if I was one of the people aggressively solicited by those actors who were marketing cameras under the guise of needing help to take a picture, I'd have decked the creep when I found out what he was up to, and smashed his camera into tiny little pieces.

Fake? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22634914)

I'm not aware of any legal the definition of blog. There's tons of fake names and fake stories on blogs especially when it comes to marketing and politics. It's as common as the FAQ that is actually a bunch of stuff marketing people made up and no one has ever asked.
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