|fake: "Osteen Resigns" website|
UPDATE: The fake Joel Osteen sites and Twitter are still up as of this writing. While I would imagine his lawyers are presently working to get all these things down, the apparent credulity of the American public -- some of which have apparently have "added" to the myth with additional fake "CNN" reports on their blogs -- is shocking. Imagine if the public was similarly manipulated on a number of other things via the coordinated use of such tools as fake sites, social media, Wikipedia, and the like...
I'm not saying these two stories are related at all, but I find the timing of both really interesting -- especially because both Pastors concerned are super-popular with the mainstream audience, and as result have been the subject of severe criticism by other leaders in the Christian Church.
First, we have the announcement that best-selling Pastor Rick Warren's son Matthew has committed suicide.
Right after, we have this elaborate hoax that best-selling Pastor Joel Osteen has supposedly "quit" the Christian faith. This hoax is quite interesting, as it was elaborately constructed with a (misspelled: "Osten") domain name, separate Wordpress site reporting the "news" in some sort of AP format, and fake Twitter account.
Here, from the fake website, is a screen grab of the faux Osteen's "resignation":
Conducting a Whois domain search, this fake message is the creation of one Lucas Skass, from "BMG Enterprises LLC." Why was this hoax created? Was this the work of someone from the "Osteen isn't dogmatic enough" bandwagon? Or is this an "Anonymous"-type prank?
Whatever the case, by doing three very easy things -- creating a fake Twitter account, creating a free Wordpress account, and purchasing a similar-yet-different domain name -- this person has created mass havoc and confusion among Osteen's fellowship as of this writing.
|Joel Osteen fake Twitter account|
Your "homework" is to figure out how extensively the online "message" can be manipulated in this fashion -- how and why.