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A fake blog (sometimes shortened to flog or referred to as a flack blog) is an electronic communication in the
blog A blog (a truncation In mathematics and computer science, truncation is limiting the number of numerical digit, digits right of the decimal point. Truncation and floor function Truncation of positive real numbers can be done using the f ...
format that appears to originate from a credible, non-biased and independent source, but which in fact is created by a company or organization for the purpose of marketing a product, service, or political viewpoint. The purpose of a fake blog is to inspire
viral marketing Viral marketing or viral advertising is a business strategy that uses existing social networks to promote a product mainly on various social media platforms. Its name refers to how consumers spread information about a product with other people, muc ...
or create an
internet meme An Internet meme, more commonly known simply as a meme ( ), is an idea, behavior, or style that is spread via the Internet, often through social media platforms and especially for humorous purposes. What is considered a meme may vary across di ...
that generates traffic and interest in a product, much the same as
astroturfing Astroturfing is the practice of masking the Sponsor (commercial), sponsors of a message or organization (e.g., political, advertising, religious or public relations) to make it appear as though it originates from and is supported by grassroots par ...
(a "fake
grassroots A grassroots movement is one that uses the people in a given district, region or community as the basis for a political or economic movement. Grassroots movements and organizations use collective action from the local level to effect change at t ...

grassroots
" campaign). A fake blog is akin to industry-supported "
astroturf AstroTurf is an American subsidiary A subsidiary, subsidiary company or daughter company is a company (law), company owned or controlled by another company, which is called the parent company or holding company. Two subsidiaries that belong t ...
" efforts that pose as legitimate grassroots activity. Fake blogs are corrupted forms of
public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an individual or an organization An organization, or organisation (English in the Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth English; American and British ...
, which as a discipline demands transparency and honesty, according to the
Public Relations Society of America The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) is a nonprofit trade association A trade association, also known as an industry trade group, business association, sector association or industry body, is an organization founded and funded by bus ...
's code of ethics and the Word of Mouth Marketing Association's code of ethics. Authenticity and transparency are important in
social networking A social networking service or SNS (sometimes called a social networking site) is an online platform which people use to build social networks or social relation In social science, a social relation or social interaction is any relationship ...
and blogging, as these codes of ethics attest. The UK
Chartered Institute of Public Relations The Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) is a professional body in the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' a ...
' social media guidelines cite the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 and state that both astroturfing and fake blogs are not permitted. As
social networking A social networking service or SNS (sometimes called a social networking site) is an online platform which people use to build social networks or social relation In social science, a social relation or social interaction is any relationship ...
tools gain in popularity, corporations and special-interest groups legitimately use their own blogs to promote company agendas without cloaking their identities (one such example is http://www.blogsouthwest.com, a blog sponsored by Southwest Airlines and written by its employees). One notorious example of identity cloaking, resulting in a fake blog, was exposed when Edelman, an international public relations firm, created a fake blog in 2006 called Walmarting Across America. It was purportedly written by two Wal-Mart "enthusiasts" who decided to journey across the United States in an RV, blogging about the experience as they visited Wal-Marts along the way. While two people actually did travel across the United States in an RV, the publicity stunt was revealed to be paid for by Wal-Mart, a client of Edelman. The act of writing fake blogs, or the commercial, strategy behind it, has been referred to as "flogging",


Fake parody blogs

One genre of fake blogs is the
parody A parody, also called a spoof, a send-up, a take-off, a lampoon, a play on (something), or a caricature, is a creative work designed to imitate, comment on, and/or make fun of its subject by means of satire, satiric or irony, ironic imitation. Ofte ...
blog; written ostensibly by a
celebrity Celebrity is a condition of fame and broad public recognition of an individual or group as a result of the attention given to them by mass media. A person may attain a celebrity status from having great wealth, their participation in sports ...
or other noteworthy individual. Unlike other flogs, parody blogs are not necessarily marketing tools. Parody blogs are often written to entertain, confuse, enlighten or to express a point of view through satire and humor. Noteworthy parody blogs include Fake Steve Jobs
Mock Mark Cuban
and the networ
News Groper
There are also a very popular regional flogs like the one of th
Indian Prime Minister
and the a famous stock market speculator calle
Jhunjhunwala


Notable flogs


4Railroads & Mcdmillionwinner
blogs promoting
McDonald's Monopoly The McDonald's Monopoly game is a sales promotion run by fast food restaurant chain McDonald's, with a theme based on the Hasbro board game ''Monopoly (game), Monopoly''. The game first ran in the U.S. in 1987 and has since been used worldwide. Th ...
. Allegedly created by "Stanley Smith" and Marcia Schroeder (a real winner in 2004, but who had nothing to do with writing the blog). Both were pulled shortly after being exposed.
Walmarting Across America
written by two Walmart "enthusiasts" who decided to journey across America in an RV and blog about the experience as they visited Walmarts along the way. While the two people actually did travel across America for the purpose of this blog, it was revealed to be paid for by Walmart.
/ref> * ttp://consumerist.com/consumer/blogs/sonys-psp-blog-flog-revealed-221384.php All I want for Xmas is a PSP purported to be written by a group of kids who wanted to get a friend's parents to buy him a
PlayStation Portable The PlayStation Portable (PSP) is a handheld game console A handheld game console, or simply handheld console, is a small, portable self-contained video game console A video game console is an electronic device that output Output may re ...

PlayStation Portable
. Exposed due to the domain registration, as well as a post admitting the blog was fake shortly before the site and all of its contents were pulled down.
Forwalmart.com
Working Families for Wal-Mart Working Families for Walmart is an advocacy group formed by Walmart and the Edelman (firm), Edelman public relations firm on December 20, 2005. It has been used to praise Walmart in a show of opposition to union-funded groups such as Wake Up Wal-Ma ...
for
Wal-Mart Walmart Inc. (; formerly Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.) is an American multinational retail corporation that operates a chain of hypermarket Asian hypermarket in the Philippines, a branch of SM Hypermarket in SM Mall of Asia">SM_Hypermarket.htm ...

Wal-Mart
by Edelman
Paid Critics
for
Wal-Mart Walmart Inc. (; formerly Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.) is an American multinational retail corporation that operates a chain of hypermarket Asian hypermarket in the Philippines, a branch of SM Hypermarket in SM Mall of Asia">SM_Hypermarket.htm ...

Wal-Mart
by Edelman
Dr. John H. Watson
for Sherlock BBC TV series.


References

{{DEFAULTSORT:Fake Blog Blogs Online advertising *Blog Ethically disputed business practices sv:Flog