Sunday, September 02, 2007

A Serial Killer is After You

It is hilarious. But promise me you''ll use it with caution.

I learned about it from the Wired Magazine article, excerpted below:

It looks like one of those video-sharing sites that's not GooTube. It even ends in ".tv", the way the cool sites do now. An embedded video window beckons you to click Play.

When you do, you'll see a news clip from Miami television station WBFX telling you that a serial killer is on the loose. As people in hazmat suits clean up a bloody crime scene, a youthful reporter describes the demographics of the victims, and they're all remarkably like you -- same gender, age, even occupation.

Dexter And then your intestines freeze: on the wall of the crime scene, written in blood, is your name, with the warning that you are next. The reporter says the cops are hoping to find that person before the serial killer does. The video ends, and the only part of your brain that still functions is the part trying to decide whether you should call 911 and have the police take you into protective custody, or if you should just drive to the police station yourself.

But then comes the real punchline: you've been hoaxed. The website and video are part of a viral promotion for Dexter, a show on FXUK about, wouldn't you just guess, a serial killer. Someone you know -- probably one of your closest friends -- entered your name, demographics, and email into the website, which then generated the video and sent you a link. And now that you're in on the gag, you're offered the opportunity to scare it forward by providing someone else's info. Even though, in a world in which a major city can be paralyzed with fear by a few strategically placed Lite-Brites, a website that cranks out serial killer threats is wrong in too many ways to count.

Of course, I sent one to everyone I know. (read the rest here)

I have to show you the video I rigged this morning for John Milor from our church . You are supposed to be able to embed the movie player on your blog, but that feature isn't working right now, so you can watch it on the original website here.

OK, here's the page ( sign up your friends....As you have noticed, one of the coolest feature is personalizing a handwritten note the hiller wrote.
Have fun, but remember, as the article concludes

So far the responses I've gotten have been muted: real death threats, charges of assault, social ostracism (my brother's email read simply: "You are no longer my brother."). Even when they later claim to notice the anomalies in the video -- a Miami tv station would never call a parking lot a "car park", the "handwritten" message is written in Helvetica type, the security camera footage is all wrong -- seeing their name in blood was terrifying to every one of my victims. They calmed their fears by promptly sending a video to everyone they know.

The next step: some moron will send one of these to an elected official, and wind up on the receiving end of some Secret Service lovin'.

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