Monday, November 12, 2007

Wildfire deception blames devastation on Latino group, appears to have started in Nashville

There is a Nashville connection to a lie/hoax/prank circulated on the Internet, namely that a Latino organization claimed responsibility for this year's California wildfires. Various commenters fear the damage that started on the fake web site, which was registered with an address off Briley Parkway.

From Mary Sanchez, Kansas City Star:
The hoax spread quickly — a little like a wildfire, you might say. Somebody forwarded me an e-mail with an imbedded link to the fake news story. Blaring at the top of the e-mail was this message:


It didn’t take much effort to figure out that the Web page was phony. The misspelled words were the first clue. CNN was alerted. The network traced the page to Nashville, Tenn., and forced the hosting Internet service provider to yank the page.
The Huffington Post:
A domain name search for "cnnheadlienews" shows the site is registered to a company with a Nashville, Tennessee address called Bleachboy Heavy Manufacturing Concern. The website associated with Bleachboy,, is a bare homepage that cycles through four different logos. There's no other information on the site except for a warning about sweatshop products, a note that says "thank you for the traffic," and the ever-banal phrase, "Spring is in the air."
Citizen Orange:
it just taps into this climate of fear that keeps getting ratcheted up in the U.S.
Jessie Daniels:
These kinds of sites are even more disturbing when you look at them in light of some of the cognitive research on how people remember (or misremember) facts. Researchers found that false claims, if repeated, are remembered as true.
Latina Lista:
the unfounded stories making their way across the media illustrate how the argument has shifted from undocumented Latino immigrants to the general population of Latinos.
MECHA official site:
We condemn the slanderous act committed by those who created the website, and our condolences are with those who have been affected by the wildfires.
Photo by Andreas Levers. Licensed under Creative Commons.

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