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August 04, 2007

Michael Vick, Digg & The Virginia Beach SPCA Hoax

By Li Evans

Come on, you all know the "old" adage, if its on Digg, it's got to be true!  Right?  Come on, over 500 people dugg it!  It is true, right?

Not this time, no matter how much dog lovers hate Michael Vick (quarterback of the Atlanta Falcons, charged with dogfighting) at the moment, sorry to say it's a fake.  Just because the poster of him "saving 14 Pit Bulls from Hurricane Katrina" made its way to Digg's front page with over 800 diggs, will not make the badly photoshopped image anymore legit.

What this situation does do, is make a very legitimate organization, who's doing a great job for the animals they care for, look extremely bad. Cruel joke or not, the Virginia Beach SPCA is now having to answer questions that would horrify them.  All these cruel questions because some Diggrz didn't have the brains to figure out the poster was fake (come on, the address of the image didn't give it away?).  Also, lets stop to think about those "brains" that promote articles to the front page of Digg, they were just as smart as the submitter, and pushed it to the front page without even a blink of an eye.  Wow! Way to go Digg!

I've never been a fan of Digg, for reasons just as what's happened to the Virginia Beach SPCA, people who likely didn't have a clue until 8 days ago what in the world Digg was.  As a marketer though I know it's power, and know that it's an "evil" that you must consider for your clients.  The sad thing is that sites like Digg perpetuate false and misleading information as if it were gospel.  As a marketer, not only do you have to contend with "how can I get traffic from Digg", but also "what do I do when Digg perpetuates false, misleading information or lies?"

Do you have a contingency plan for your clients, should something like this happens to them?

Hattip to AdFreak for bringing this to light and the myth busting folks over at the Snopes and Hoax-Slayer for debunking this poster and proving it the fake that it is.  Also that poster that was originally hosted at imageshack.us has been taken downSnopes.com also has another page dedicated to debunking this false pieces of media (hat tip to Debra Mastaler!).

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Comments

I gotta' say you hit the head of the Digg nail right on. One thing I fail to understand is how so many reputable people in search marketing seem to gloss over the mentality of Diggers. Not all of them are bad, but as this post points out, there's a huge problem with these people simply reading a headline and posting a comment or dropping a link. do you really want traffic like that for your clients? It's junk, IMO.

btw - love the fact there's a digg button on this post!

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