The Ulsterman Report
The Background to the Hoax
Complaints about the quality of items published on a particular site began in an unmoderated forum.
It moved to 'proving' how ridiculous the 'Hot Content' list was by voting up items of questionable value.
Once an item is featured on 'Hot Content' it becomes a self perpetuating hit catcher.
Newbies, unaware that "Hot Content' is not the best, simply what was placed there by tricksters, will click . Their clicks push the item higher on the list, and soon it is on Google, and thousands of clicks are rolling in.
What the group in the forum had sought to do was embarrass the site. Have someone step in and moderate, Have Hot Content be not the crud they were elevating, but have it be the best that was published in the past 24 hours, or the best there was.
Since the site did nothing, they decided to publish a complete hoax. Something that was totally untrue they would vote up until their fingers bled and in this way, maybe, the site would notice it was a Content Farm, and that steps would be taken.
This was not what happened.
The group was aware that Hate is more powerful than any other impetus. People will walk barefoot two miles in the snow to attack someone they hate. Hence they chose Barack Obama.
They had appreciated that Americans seemed astounded that they had put a Black Man in the White House, and would do anything, no matter how badly it impacted on the American people or government to hurt him.
The group decided to pretend to be 'White House Insiders' privy to all sorts of 'secrets'; but to tip their hand, to prove that it was a hoax. They used the term "Ulsterman". They assumed that persons with fully operational brains would grasp the fact that an Ulsterman is someone who lives in Northern Ireland, not someone who works in Washington D.C.
They misjudged the stupidity of the average Netizen.
The Ulsterman Reports
Although the first article was the recipient of the usual false voting, and Facebook hysteria, it took off on its own.
People clicked on the item because they wanted to read bad things about Barack Obama. Some noted the information was published on a second rate blog which published everything so were aware the information was not credible.
But most didn't care.
Reading anything negative about Obama had them Stumbling, Digging, Redditing, posting on their own blogs, emailing it to their contacts and rereading it again.
Subsequent articles were snatched up by Tea Party types which treated the crud as true. Millions of hits were being racked up, the items becoming so virulent that even 'credible ' sources like the New York Post was referring to statements fabricated in a cottage in Ulster as if they were 'leaked' by a 'mole' working for Obama.
The Post finally traced the 'original' information to the second rate blog.
The Next Step
With millions of hits and the obvious monetary benefit, the Ulsterman group decided to create its own blog; interestingly, the publishing site itself gave them their very own website.
Clearly, the publishing site had no problem with crap.
It wasn't upset that it was being used to host all manner of garbage, it was enthusiastic. The group had misjudged the situation. The Site wasn't 'inadvertently' being used as a garbage truck, it was a garbage truck.
It was not a writing site. It made money via ads, the 'wall paper', was the prose which separated the ads.
That the Ulsterman Reports were fabricatons, that it was a hoax designed to tap into the seething hatred many had for Obama, was a plus for the site.
What had begun as an attack on the quality of a publishing site turned into a money spinner. What was done to 'force' the site to improve its quality became the centrepiece of its lack of quality. And far from being punished, those who wrote the Ulsterman Report were given their very own subsite where they could post fallacy after lie to their pocket's content.
Bad deeds never go unrewarded.