20 February 2009

Bogus GMA Site

GMA 7 Network
GMANews.TV, the official news Web site of GMA Network’s News and Public Affairs, would like to warn the public not to fall for a phony Web site masquerading as their site.

The sham Web site has the URL http://gmanewstv.comoj.com/karatekidaids.htm, and recently it posted a fabricated news item entitled "KARATE KID FAST FOOD with AIDS!!!" The bogus story was about a 14-year-old boy who was diagnosed with AIDS after eating in a Makati restaurant.

Apparently the screen shot of the bogus Web site carrying the Karate Kid story, which has been circulating in Internet forums is nothing more than a ploy to discredit GMANews.TV and the restaurant. It is not really clear how the author of the fake site will gain from doing this, but it did not pick up enough momentum to do any damage. Philippines may not be a rich country, but Filipinos are technologically-savvy enough to recognize fake from the real ones.

With the used of the latest technology available, legitimate sites can easily be faked through digital photo editing software applications. In the case of the fake GMANews.TV Web site, the perpetrators obviously made a screen grab of the nation page that contained the Red Cross kidnapping story, altered the copied page with a bogus Karate Kid story and posted it online using an obscure URL http://gmanewstv.comoj.com/karatekidaids.htm. This Web site does not belong to GMANews.TV or any of its affiliates, including its parent company, GMA Network Inc. and its Internet unit, GMA New Media Inc.

A comparison of the fake Web site and the GMANews.TV will reveal these four (4) glaring differences:
  1. the fake Web site used all capital letters in the headline, which is not the style of GMANews.TV
  2. the fake Web site used triple exclamation points, which is again not the style of GMANews.TV
  3. the fake Web site used a text font type that is different from the one used by GMANews.TV
  4. the articles tagged as related stories were about the kidnapping of International Committee of the Red Cross in Sulu.