FTC Throws Its Weight Behind Effort To Shut down Fake News Sites

If you’ve been to a Web site that looks for all the world like a legitimate news site that touts the wonders of the Acaci Berry diet, and you thought it looked a little fishy, you’re not alone. The Federal Trade Commission has filed complaints earlier this week to shut the sites down. If you haven’t seen them, here’s one. It looks pretty authentic. But according to an FCC official, “Almost everything about these sites is fake. “The weight loss results, the so-called investigations, the reporters, the consumer testimonials, and the attempt to portray an objective, journalistic endeavor.” In other words, not only is the message portrayed in a deceptive way, the message itself is deceptive. Good luck with this one guys. And, note that those fake sites use logos from legitimate news outlets like ABC, CBS and CNN. That could lead to private trademark suits. Sounds like a lot of lawyers will be busy.