03:59 AM

The GreanTeaGirlie Mystery And The Viral Nature Of Mistrust

Last year, in the wake of the LonelyGirl15 mystery, I asked:

LonelyGirl15 was found out to be a fake video blogger--scripted by a Hollywood production team--many millions had watched it, and many thousands tried to find out who was behind it.

What happens in a future world where phishing is applied to news sources rather than spoofing banking sites? And where there aren't enough watchdogs to spot the fakes?

Link to: We badly need a way to verify sources of online content - we need a trust trackback

Today's LA Times has a front page story about the "new lonelygirl15."

GreenTeaGirlie innocent vidblogger or sinister marketing hoax - Los Angeles Times

Again, my son Matthew Foremski was involved in this story. But this time in another way, testing the viral nature of trust and mistrust. It's a fascinating account pulled together by Los Angeles Times staff writer David Sarno.

In late March, a striking young brunette going by the nom-de-Tube of 'GreenTeaGirlie' posted a 10-second video on YouTube.
"Hey YouTube viewers!" said the hopeful ingénue, "I'm new. I hope you welcome me. I'm actually going to be making some videos, and I hope they're going to be really neat, so I hope you check 'em out."
Before anyone knew what was going on, "I'm New" had rocketed to the front page of YouTube's daily Most Viewed section, where it raked in more than 170,000 hits on its first day — an extraordinary showing for a maiden video blog.

Again, it is worth asking the question, what happens when there aren't enougth watchdogs to spot fakes and test the veracity of online content?

Will the viral nature of mistrust be our only protection? Or should there be a clear way to test the source of anything published online?  Is it even possible?