When it comes to the Internet, you have to be pretty damn clever to fake out its users. Even with billions online, it's uncanny how the Web polices itself whether it be bad grammar or April Fool's Day hoaxes, even when they aren't on April 1.
But on Wednesday, well-known pranksters the Yes Men got more than their share of people to believe what they were selling. They first set up a fake Web site for Shell Oil that looks remarkably accurate called ArcticReady.com. On the site, visitors are encouraged to share ideas for a new ad campaign related to drilling in the Arctic. They filled the photo gallery with images that made it appear users had pranked them using ironic phrases like "You can't run an SUV on cute" stamped on a photo of a baby fox. There were direct ones as well like "So children, the is the ad campaign that got me fired -- ex ad manager."
I am about to print the list and take it to #Shell legal. You have five minutes to delete your tweets.
— Social Media Team (@ShellisPrepared) July 18, 2012
They took it a step further with a Twitter account under the name @ShellisPrepared that spit out dozens of tweets related to the fake mishap. And in what have got to be some of the more meta events in Internet history, people fell for it.
Here are some of our favorite responses to the hoax.
@ShellisPrepared im a lawyer buddy and u cant do anything about the mess you created for yourself. you cant make anyone delete their tweets
— ricardo lavielle (@ricknlexi) July 18, 2012
— Lachlan Markay (@LachlanMarkay) July 18, 2012
Today's lesson in how not to do social media brought to you by @ShellisPrepared
— Sarah Kogod (@SarahKogod) July 18, 2012
if you want to see a real live social media meltdown as it occurs, go to @shellisprepared's timeline. guess they weren't all THAT prepared.
— MEGAN BROWN (@thatgirlmegan) July 18, 2012
Anyone not following @ShellisPrepared today really should be. A masterclass in not to do social media.
— Vivienne Egan (@VivEgan41) July 18, 2012
Stand by for whiny @ShellIsPrepared press releases complaining that people have opinions. Every time it says "hackers", take a drink.
— Ari Lacenski (@tensory) July 18, 2012
— Paige Worthy (@paigeworthy) July 18, 2012
— Charli aWeSome (@CharliAlmostEsq) July 18, 2012
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