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Don Tapscott

Fake New York Times is just the beginning


A group involving hundreds of volunteers handed out more than a million copies of a fake edition of The New York Times yesterday with headlines such as “Iraq War Ends” and “Nation Sets Its Sights on Building Sane Economy.”

The paper is dated July 4, 2009, and was handed out for free. The group even set up a web site that looks like the real New York Times website.

What the massive and elaborate hoax signifies is that the Barack election victory marks just the beginning of citizens using the Internet and the collaborative tools of Web 2.0 to press for change. Millions of Obama supporters were involved in the pre-election effort and they will continue to advocate that Obama implement his agenda now that he is President.

The lead editorial in the fake paper that is eight months in the future says:

Two years ago, who would have dared to image we’d elect, as President of the United States, an African-American community organizer?

Six months ago, who would have predicted we’d enact universal health care, reform our education system, establish a maximum wage and “true cost” tax, and start taking steps to make our cities more livable – or that we’d so swiftly end the war in Iraq, and try for treason the leaders who took us there?

Yet we’ve done all that. Although we demanded change of Barack Obama, we understood that only we could bring about that change. And that’s why it happened.

Of course even with all these victories, we can’t let up for a second, and we can’t get tired. But if there’s one thing we’ve learned in the past two years, it’s that the most restful, energizing thing we can do is fight for a better world.

In a CNN interview, Andy Bichbaum, one of the effort’s chief organizers, said the scale of the hoax illustrates the “tremendous desire to see change” and that Obama supporters would “continue to give Obama the mandate, and the pressure, and the support” needed to make change happen.

A great ROCKETBOOM behind-the-scenes video of the whole hoax can be seen here.

Tags: Government

   
 
 
   

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