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It’s very likely that people who follow domain investing blogs and forums know that DomainGang.com is a satirical website with Onion-esque articles. Although there are occasionally articles that are factual, the majority seem to be written to get a chuckle from readers.

Yesterday, Domain Gang posted a humorous article entitled, Singapore domainer gets jail for .XXX domain registration, which was a fictious story about a person who bought a .XXX domain name and was arrested for violating a law in Singapore. To me at least, it seemed pretty obvious that it was a work of fiction rather than a factual story.

Apparently the journalists at Geek.com thought otherwise and posted their own article based on the Domain Gang story. In addition, a French website also picked up on the story and posted their own article, and there were over 60 comments.  I guess they didn’t bother to check facts.

In this day and age, the first website to post an article generally gets most of the links and traffic. However, people, especially those who are journalists, really do need to check facts before posting an article. Congrats to Domain Gang on the


About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has sold seven figures worth of domain names in the last five years. Please read the DomainInvesting.com Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest.


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Comments (16)

    Acro

    hi Elliot – it’s not the first time this happens; in the past, articles about Sergei Putanov and his dot communism initiative, or the Australian aboriginal domainer or even the Yo! programming language by Yahoo have been picked by mainstream media.

    The Singapore article adds the controversy of police violence – something very real in Singapore, hence the media attention and reaction. However, someone that reads instead of *skimming* should realize that a tomato and papaya producer from Singapore would have little worries about securing his trademark in .xxx :)

    Due to the exceptional number of visits to the article – more than 5,000 so far – we’ve added a small disclaimer at the bottom, to help the media realize their own fault to perform research.

    “It’s on the Internet – therefore, it’s true!”

    September 14th, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    Kevin Murphy

    It would have been soooo easy just to Google the name of the made-up suspect.

    If he indeed “produces papaya and tomato pulp that is famous all over Singapore” then you’d expect to find at least one reference to him, somewhere.

    Google “Jiaming Sim” now and you’re going to find 75 places that have repeated DomainGang’s story, and nothing else.

    September 14th, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    Elliot Silver

    @ Kevin

    Funny but pretty sad state of affairs.

    September 14th, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    BullS

    That why they need to read “BullS” first before going to DG

    September 14th, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    Ms Domainer

    *

    The media are such lemmings and believe just about anything that comes their way. The DomainGang article was obviously satire, even by mainstream media standards.

    Recently, I uncovered a Consumer Reports ranking on commercial diets.

    The number 1 diet (according to CR) was based on a study that had been financed by, guess what, the winning diet program!

    So the number 1 program is number 1 because Number 1 said so!

    The mainstream media picked up the CR ranking, and suddenly, across the internet, it’s gospel. I have tried emailing several media outlets, but the media are stubborn and tend NOT to retract when their goofs are revealed.

    On at least one occasion, I have been guilty of this silliness, but at least when it was pointed out to me I had the sense to be ashamed and apologize.

    😉

    The media need to stop being so lazy; they have this great right (freedom of speech), but they need to pay more attention to the great responsibility that comes with it.

    A simple email to Theo would have taken a few seconds and would have saved these outlets much embarassment.

    *

    September 14th, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    Acro

    Here’s a useful read for those that don’t want to do research: http://domaingang.com/editorial/sex-parody-and-social-networks-how-the-truth-gets-out-there/

    September 14th, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    Uzoma

    Acro,

    I visit and like domaingang.com

    However, I’m sure most readers, and perhaps, all domainers are not supporting the idea of mixing true stories with the satirical ones, even tho you post the 100% on true stories, I believe that it’s probably best to be one or the other. In essence becoming 100% satirical (parody).

    Maybe folks are uncomfortable to tell you how to run your site. But, we who truly love your work are not afraid to say: it’s partly your fault when the MSM get’s it wrong. I think it’s 97% domaingang.com’s fault that Geek screwed up.

    Just make it 100% parody. The few news items broken on domain gang can be featured at Acro.net (.com).

    Just my opinion.

    September 14th, 2011 at 6:03 pm

      Elliot Silver

      @ Theo

      I tend to agree with Uzoma about keeping DG satire so there’s no chance of confusion. I don’t think the Onion has “real” news stories because of the chance of confusion. I think Acro.net has significantly more authority when it comes to news and opinion, so the real news stories are better served there. I think Geek and all others should have done their own research to realize it’s clearly satire, so I don’t have sympathy for them.

      September 14th, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    BullS

    No more anonymous troll comments.
    *********

    It is about time those anonymous no-balls show who they are-stop hiding behind girl’s skirts

    September 14th, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    BullS

    If you believe what is written on all the websites, then you are a “SUCKER”

    Do you own research!!!

    Always be cynical and skeptical on the internet as all sites are totally “BullS” and this is proven by McAfee that 99.99999% on the net are spam- my, worthless and time waster except

    Elliotblog.

    do you buy a house/car just by reading what is describe on the site?

    September 14th, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    Shane

    I agree with Elliot and Uzoma. I think Theo is a great guy and does a great job but the mixing absolutely doesn’t work. The badge isn’t enough and I have to look at the bottom to see if it’s a real story or not. I agree keeping the real articles at another site would be ideal but then the traffic gets split and advertisers want traffic. He could divide the site into two halves.

    September 14th, 2011 at 6:46 pm

    adam

    I agree with everyone else who said to make it all satire. I personally pass over it in the feed because I don’t want to sift through wether it’s real or not. 2cents

    September 14th, 2011 at 10:49 pm

    Acro

    Thank you all for your ‘concerns’ about mixing real stories with parody content. I have no plans to ‘undo’ the current mixed presentation, for many reasons.

    The truth is that real content, including many breaking stories drive a large percentage of the DomainGang traffic. It also leaves it to the non initiated to decide whether a story is 100% true or not – if their reading skills aren’t that focused, hence, more time spent on the site and more clicking around.

    DomainGang has always had 100% real content from the beginning; it was simply harder to identify. Since the introduction of the “100%” image in July of 2010 it’s easy for regular readers to comprehend what they are reading.

    As I said, I am not concerned about readers that aren’t domainers, they provide a large chunk of traffic from Google searches. If I were to hold everyone’s hand about the stories I’d spend most of my time doing support for free.

    September 15th, 2011 at 10:26 am

    James

    Journalists checking facts? Thats not in the job description…

    September 15th, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    Anders

    An occasional newsstory among parodic posts or the other way around is not optimal. Separate them.

    September 16th, 2011 at 4:39 am

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