BBC Falls for Bhopal Hoax
The hoaxing of the BBC has now been all over the news. In case you haven't heard, on Friday the BBC broadcast an interview with a man claiming to be a representative of Dow Chemical, Jude Finisterra (is the guy's last name supposed to mean 'the end of the world'?). During the interview the man said that Dow had decided to accept full responsibility for the chemical disaster that killed thousands of people in Bhopal twenty years ago, and in addition it would pay $12 billion in compensation to the victims. The BBC broadcast the interview twice, causing Dow's stock value to promptly drop. Later that same day it became clear that the man wasn't a representative of Dow, and the BBC apologized for falling for a hoax. Though it tried to duck responsibility somewhat by claiming that it was the victim of an 'elaborate deception'. Was the deception really that elaborate? According to this NY Times article, the BBC was actually the one to make first contact with the hoaxers via a website that 'appeared to be Dow Chemical's web site'. So they fell for a hoax website. That's not that elaborate a deception. The man they interviewed was reportedly (in reality) Andy Bichlbaum of the Yes Men (a movie about them is currently in theatres).
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