The Ulsterman Report
The Background to the Hoax
Complaints about the quality of items published on Triond, a now defunct writing site, began in an unmoderated forum.
An unmoderated forum, on that very site.
The complaints then moved to 'proving' how ridiculous the 'Hot Content' list was by voting up items of questionable value.
Triond had a practice of putting its most popular items on the front page and touting them as 'Hot Content'
Once an item is featured in the 'Hot Content' section, it became a self perpetuating hit catcher.
Newbies, unaware that "Hot Content' was not the best Triond had to offer, simply what was placed there by tricksters, clicked on those items .
Their clicks pushed the articles higher on the list, and in 2008, they would appear on a Google search, and thousands of clicks rolled in.
What the group in the forum had sought to do was embarrass the site. Have some moderator or Admin step in do their job.
Make the step of having the articles found in Hot Content be not their created crud, but be the best articles published in the past 24 hours, or the best there was.
Triond did nothing. It ignored their complaints.
The group in the forum decided to publish a complete hoax.
Publish something totally untrue they would vote up until their fingers bled and in this way, maybe, Triond would notice it had become a Content Farm, and that steps would be taken.
Steps taken to make Triond a respectable writing site.
This was not what happened.
The group which populated the forum 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 as their target.
They appreciated that Americans seemed astounded that they had put a Black Man in the White House. That many Americans 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'. To tip their hand, to prove that it was a hoax they used the term "Ulsterman".
The group 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, posting it to Facebook, and rereading it again.
Subsequent articles published by the "White House Insider'" 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, that is Triond.
The Next Step
With millions of hits and the obvious monetary benefit, the Ulsterman group decided to create its own blog. Interestingly, Triond gave them their very own website.
Clearly, Triond had no problem publishing crap.
Triond 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 Triond.
What had begun as an attack on the quality of articles published on Triond turned into a money spinner.
What had been done to 'force' Triond 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.
Alas, Triond is no more, sinking into the Content Farm's graveyard, taking The Ulsterman Reports with it.