Status: follow-up info about a hoax A month ago
I posted about Plastic Assets
, a faux credit card company offering free breast implants as a sign-up bonus. I noted that the site was an entrant in the Contagious Festival, a contest to create a high-traffic parody site. Now Plastic Assets has officially won the contest, receiving five times more visitors than its closest competitor. And the media, typically late to the party, are announcing that the site has just been revealed to be a hoax. (Even though I know I wasn't the only site to point out that this was a hoax last month.)
According to the CanWest News Service article
, Plastic Assets was designed by Shari Graydon, author of In Your Face: The Culture of Beauty and You
, and the site "attracted hundreds of female applicants and more than 130,000 visitors."
Graydon concludes from this that "The degree to which our site was believed to be credible despite how over the top it was underlines the fact that people aren't bringing critical thinking skills to what they read on the Internet."
I agree that many people are too gullible about claims they encounter on the internet, but in this instance I'm skeptical about how many people really were fooled. I don't think there's any correlation between the number of visitors the site had, or even the number of applicants it received, and the amount of people who believed it to be real. I figure that most of its visitors recognized it as a joke, and probably filled out the application as a joke also.