The Yes Men Turn to Facebook for New Hoax
The Yes Men, a duo of culture jammers that spreads misinformation and often impersonates company representatives to communicate anti-consumerist messages, has turned to Facebook and Twitter for its latest hoax.
The duo recently created a fake website called Coal Cares. The site is meant to mock Peabody Energy and was created in conjunction with the activist group Coal Kills Kids. The website claimed that Peabody would donate$500 towards a lung replacement surgery for every 1000 inhalers ordered from the Coal Cares site. The inhalers, by the way, were specially designed to make kids look hip while using them. They had images of Justin Beiber and other pop culture images preferred by many children.
The Yes Men quickly found that they could reach a broader audience by using social networking tools like Facebook and Twitter. Using these tools also allowed them to receive immediate feedback from the audience. That way, they would know which messages were causing the biggest stir.
The Yes Men claims that it disseminates false messages that, upon closer inspection, are obviously false. Some of their fans have made comparisons to Jonathon Swift’s brilliant satire.
Imagine what Swift might have done had he had access to Facebook.
Not everyone, however, gets the joke. Businesses mocked by the Yes Men have often seen their stock values plummet. When investors and customers can’t differentiate between real initiatives and satire, it can have real world effects on the business. Despite this, the Yes Men have been able to continue pushing boundaries and assuming the names of company leaders to keep everyone on their toes and make people think about the harmful ways that some businesses operate.