Online pranksters target Shell's drilling plans
Greenpeace's latest attack on the company's Arctic drilling is a little too effective.
The website, at ArcticReady.com, was expertly crafted to look like a Shell company site. But it doesn't take much investigating to realize there are hijinks afoot. The picture of a polar bear carrying the bloody head of a baby polar bear in its mouth might give a clue.
The site is an elaborate setup by Greenpeace, which has clearly learned that online protests can make more of an impact than some of its other methods. The site is funny, viral, and so effective that it keeps coming back to haunt Shell weeks after it was exposed as a Greenpeace stunt.
The centerpiece of the site is a fake ad generator that lets people add their own captions to photos of the Arctic (the ad generator appears to be down now). You can see the gallery here. The captions that people have added are harsh, and sometimes hilarious. Here are some examples:
- Birds are like sponges... for oil!
- We'd drill a crippled orphan's spine if there was some oil in it.
- Because you can't afford to visit pristine wilderness anyway.
- End polar bear attacks in our lifetime.
- This fox will murder you unless we kill it first.
- Because your gas should come from someplace beautiful.
Shell clearly wants all of this to go away -- so much so that it said it won't take legal action against Greenpeace. The company is looking to launch its first offshore Arctic drilling in two decades, and continues to be hammered by environmental groups as a result
Greenpeace also used Twitter to help its site go viral, creating a fake Shell account that pretended to be panicking as user ads were created. "Our team is working overtime to remove inappropriate ads," tweeted the @ShellisPrepared account. "Please stop sharing them."
That only got more attention as people fell for the joke.
Are we seeing a new era in corporate protests? The Occupy Wall Street movement effectively used social media and the Internet to spread its message, and Greenpeace has taken the idea a step further with its elaborate viral joke.
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Greenpeace is a bunch of outlaws that commit crimes against people doing what
is legal. If they attack my ship, I'd blow them out of the water.
B) Shell should sue for as many reasons as they can, and get an injunction against Greenpeace having any computer activity.
C) The Feds should charge the members responsible with wire fraud, or whatever fraud is appropriate.
D) All organization accounts should be frozen until they can be awarded to Shell, or an organization NOT connected with Greenpeace, which helps rescue animals from spills.E) If I was operating a ship, and a vessel owned or operated by Greenpeace was harassing me by cutting close across my bow, I would Stockholm them. No survivers would be picked up.
Greenpeace? It is Greenwar. They hate anybody or anything they choose. I am so tired of people breaking and bending the law in the name of the environment. How stupid can they be? Their cause has been hijacked by poor countries in order to tax the producers and give it to the non producers. Nobody really believes in global warming do they? I guess our planet is going to become another Venus. Yeah right. What stupid morons. I guess the people of Venus went through the industrial revolution just a little before us and screwed up their planet.
Inaccurate reporting. Initially, Shell was foolish enough to launch a slogan contest on its own site, resulting in these responses. The responses were captured and posted to arcticready.com before Shell removed the contest from its own site.
I've always considered Shell to be "second to least evil" of the major oil companies (Citgo being least evil), but their plan to destroy the Arctic wilderness deserves this type of response, and their poor decisions and poor website management provided an ideal opportunity to spread the message.
Spill baby spill.
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