French Press and Facebook Mashup Hoax

John Musser
Jan. 09 2008, 01:13PM EST

For the second time in a week a third-party Facebook app is the subject of controversy: this time it's ePresident, an application for nominating the Facebook's "worldwide President". Not a serious app of course, but as reported today by TechCrunch's Ouriel Ohayon, some of the French press, in a series of escalating misunderstandings, has fallen for this as real. In a nutshell: Facebook user Arash Derambarsh ran for this pretend office, complete with campaign site and pledge for global peace, got over 9000 votes, began getting more and more press coverage that often missed the fake-ness of the whole thing, made it to TV, eventually a Facebook group forms denouncing it, and some of the press catches on, and at this point he's not available for comment.

facebookpresident

Clearly not a serious threat like the recent Secret Crush spyware app but shows how opening up a platform brings with it all sorts of possibilities for manipulation. We may have to start a section on ProgrammableWeb for the growing library of controversial third-party applications ranging from the humorous to the fraudulent to the dangerous.

John Musser

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