Stealth Site

by Don Boudreaux on May 19, 2007

in Myths and Fallacies, Trade, Web/Tech

I’m sure that officials at the WTO are not happy that, when you google "GATT," this site tops the list of results.  These officials also must be disturbed by the site’s URL: http://www.gatt.org/

By the way, here’s the real WTO website — not the nest of half-truths and foolishness that is "gatt.org"

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{ 14 comments }

James Pyrich May 19, 2007 at 4:38 pm

A humorous example is the existence of whitehouse.org, which got cited as the "official White House site" somewhere by some newsbabe… but now I forget where.

Russell Nelson May 19, 2007 at 11:32 pm

Looks like parody to me. As such, nobody expects anything there to be true … just mocking.

pinus May 19, 2007 at 11:51 pm

Russell,

you would be surprised how many people can actually believe the info there… if they want.

M. Hodak May 20, 2007 at 12:59 am

Isn't the UN familiar with international copyright laws? Why would they put up with this? Unless…(oh, I'll leave that to the conspiracy theorists)

bartman May 20, 2007 at 1:07 am

M. Hodak:

Does the UN still hold the rights to the title GATT, considering it ceased to exist many years ago. A bit like cyber-squatting at http://www.leagueofnations.com, no?

Chip May 20, 2007 at 6:09 am

gatt.org is run by the Yes Men, a group of anti-trade "pranksters."

http://www.theyesmen.org/hijinks/wto.shtml

Luís Oliveira May 20, 2007 at 9:14 am
True_liberal May 20, 2007 at 10:40 am

Still more on the Yes Men:
http://www.culturekiosque.com/nouveau/
news/wto_compassionate_slavery_for_africa
_gatt_yes_men.html

Luís Oliveira May 20, 2007 at 11:34 am

"There were no other questions from the audience that took issue with Schmidt's proposal".

Sadly, it wouldn't surprise me if this was true.

MGW May 20, 2007 at 3:00 pm

On the plus side, I'm thinking that most laymen don't know what GATT is. Therefore, only those who know enough to know that it's fake will find it.

cljo May 21, 2007 at 12:44 pm

I recently gave a class lecture on trade policy to a group of undergrads at a school not to be mentioned. Several of them had fallen for this site and kept asking questions based upon the "information" they found in it. The saddest part was when I actually had to work at steering them away from it.

Henri Hein May 21, 2007 at 3:30 pm

I used to think that mock websites like these, and similar pranks, were amusing if well done, but couldn't possibly cause much harm.

Recently, flabbergasting examples of human credulity leads in the opposite direction: many seemingly intelligent people really do take these pranks seriously.

Consider this example:
http://www.dhmo.org/
When I first saw this, I thought "hah hah, that's funny," but was later shocked to discover educated folks seriously trying to refute the site.

Here's another example. This paper:
http://pdos.csail.mit.edu/scigen/rooter.pdf
consists of auto-generated gibberish, yet, managed to get accepted to a technological conference. See http://www.newscientisttech.com/channel/tech/mg18624963.700.html.

Henri Hein May 21, 2007 at 3:36 pm

I used to think that mock websites like these, and similar pranks, were amusing if well done, but couldn't possibly cause much harm.

Recently, flabbergasting examples of human credulity leads in the opposite direction: many seemingly intelligent people really do take these pranks seriously.

Consider this example:
http://www.dhmo.org/
When I first saw this, I thought "hah hah, that's funny," but was later shocked to discover educated folks seriously trying to refute the site.

Here's another example. This paper:
http://pdos.csail.mit.edu/scigen/rooter.pdf
consists of auto-generated gibberish, yet, managed to get accepted to a technological conference. See http://www.newscientisttech.com/channel/tech/mg18624963.700.html.

Gavin Casey October 6, 2007 at 10:15 am

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