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Friday, August 22, 2008

Hoaxes Make People Wonder If They Will Believe Obama's Veep Announcement

It seemed like a good idea at the time for the Barack Obama campaign to offer to text people with his vice presidential running mate announcement. Until hoax emails started being sent out and now people wonder if they will believe the truth.
Thousands of people signed up on the "Be The First To Know" page on the Barack Obama website, where people could enter their information and receive a text message announcing his choice of a running mate.

Some considered creative, new, a good use of the Internet, but an unexpected turn of events The Politico is reporting some are now wondering whether they will believe the text when it comes because they have received dozens of hoax test messages claiming to be "the announcement."

Text messages claiming Evan Bayh, John Kerry, Walter Mondale, Eliot Spitzer and Hillary Rodham Clinton and even one saying that Obama chose Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps.

Some people even rushed to announce it to others after getting "the message" just to find out it was a hoax and others thought to look online first and seeing no official words, became disheartened.

On Wednesday morning, Richmond lawyer Anne Leigh Kerr passed along bad information to political types after receiving a text message from an unknown number that, in formal language, announced that Obama selected Gov. Tim Kaine.

The Politico reports that one liberal website, called Wonkette, even posted "a step-by-step manual from a reader under the headline: “Freak Out Your Friends With Fake Obama VP TXT.”

The managing editor of Wonkette, Ken Layne, says he is proud of the site for doing so, saying, "We are proud to help cause confusion and excitement during this terrible boring week of no news at all. But we can't really take too much credit for it – apparently one of our readers listens to Howard Stern (which is still on the radio?) and heard of the veep TXT hoax, and figured out an easy way to do it through Verizon's TXT website.”

Layne admits he has personally sent out about 50 hoax emails claiming that Mondale was Obama's choice.

He claims that so many of his friends have now sent him hoax text messages "that I'll probably end up ignoring the real one,” Layne says.