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Authenticity and Ethics in a Digital World

February 12, 2013
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There was a time when computer/smartphone screens could not hide us from the world. People’s glances were often enough to trigger some sort of self-awareness that prevented us from behaving in ways that could destroy our reputations. The beautiful thing about social media is that it has allowed introverts to come forward and share their voices with the rest of the world. Unfortunately, it has also given many a false sense of unlimited possibilities, and the incentive to do things that are often questionable...


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Control4 Booth
The Scams, Scandals, Hoaxes, Frauds and Pranks of August
August 26, 2008 From Denny Hatch's Business Common Sense

I just finished a splendid book, "The Forger's Spell" by Edward Dolnick, about how a mediocre painter named Han Van Meegeren painted a series of "Vermeers" in the 1930s and 1940s and conned the European art establishment into believing they were real. One of his forgeries was the crown jewel in the collection of the world's greatest art thief, Reichsmarschall Hermann Goering. It was a delicious hoax.

When I put the book down and started looking for news stories to pin this column to, I found August was an extraordinary month for hoaxes, fakes, scams, scandals and pranks. Let's start with Wine Spectator.

Thomas Matthews, Executive Editor of Wine Spectator, is pissed. For starters:

Wine Spectator learned yesterday that, for the first time in the 27-year history of our Restaurant Awards program, a fictitious restaurant has entered its wine list for judging. To orchestrate his publicity-seeking scam, Robin Goldstein created a fictitious restaurant in Milan, Italy, called Osteria L'Intrepido, and then submitted a menu and wine list to Wine Spectator's Restaurant Awards as a new entry in 2008. The wine list earned an Award of Excellence, the most basic of our three award levels. Goldstein revealed his elaborate hoax at a meeting in Oregon last week. He is now crowing about the fraud on his own Web site. The story has been picked up in the blogosphere, and now Wine Spectator would like to set forth the actual facts of the matter.

"Facts of the matter?"

Mr. Matthews, you were bamboozled. Hornswoggled. Thimblerigged. Flimflammed. Your awards program is a deeply flawed business model.


Gwenn Freeman
Nuts & Bolts - Eye on Privacy : What If We All Decided to Do the Right Thing?
May 2010 From Target Marketing
In the 1990s, the Direct Marketing Association ran a campaign called "Do The Right Thing" focused on getting marketers to follow industry guidelines and best practices. "Do The Right Thing" is the title of the association's expanded FAQs on its Ethical Guidelines. But what would happen if we actually took this tagline to heart? How would that change our approach to marketing? Doing the right thing forces us to think beyond the rules. Doing the right thing forces us to think like consumers first and marketers second.


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