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Legal concerns of a fake news website?

Discussion in 'Blogging' started by kamronk, May 6, 2015.

  1. kamronk

    kamronk Newbie

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    Have been thinking of starting a website with the sole intent of creating fake news headlines of various popular events. Is there any legal concerns i should plan for? Or any concerns i should take into account before posting something like "Paquio declared champion after refs overturn fight"?

    I want to say that some obvious terms of service with obvious statements on the home page of the site being a fake news site, would save me from any lawsuits, but....i know that that may not be the case.

    Each headline would actually just be a series of funny gifs and memes about trolling, the user being fooled/dooped and such...

    Good idea? Bad idea?
     
  2. Zwielicht

    Zwielicht Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP

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    I would say to look at what other fake news sites are doing and copy that. If you see that they have disclaimers on every page stating that their site is a fake news site, then do that. After all, the popular fake news sites must be doing something right if they're still up and running.

    If you're really worried about the legal repercussions about starting a fake news website and feel like the advice you receive on Black Hat World is insufficient, then contact a lawyer.
     
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  3. fredfred547

    fredfred547 Power Member

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    http://www.theonion.com/
    The above is a fake news site. I wouldn't see any legal issues, especially when the site is obviously a joke.
     
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  4. kamronk

    kamronk Newbie

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    I honestly trust the opinions here more than i would from some specialized lawyer who wants a retainer out of me :)

    That's good advice i will study the onion and see what they have. This would be very similar but less textual context.
     
  5. Alive and Kicking

    Alive and Kicking Registered Member

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    these sort of stuff are shown on retarded tv talk shows, were they highlight celebs and politicians then make fun of them for viral views.

    quite honestly I see now harm given that you provide the visitor with the main impression that look this site is not so serious here just laugh and enjoy.
     
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  6. Zwielicht

    Zwielicht Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP

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    I understand what you mean and that's fine. Good luck with your website! :)
     
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  7. ookami007

    ookami007 Regular Member

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    In general - in the U.S. - parody is protected as free speech. If you can make your site a parody of the news, then you should be protected by 1st amendment protections. That said, making it clear that your site is a parody won't hurt and might help if you are challenged. In addition, be careful if you plan to write anything negative about someone, as even though you may be protected, a liable / slander / defamation lawsuit could bankrupt you regardless of whether you are in the right.
     
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  8. RocketSurgeon

    RocketSurgeon Newbie

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    parody and satire should be ok. as long as it easily distinguishable that it is just that. *I am NOT an ATTORNEY.
     
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  9. jdog37

    jdog37 Power Member

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    Two good points here... Makes me remember some of the old saturday night live parody's as well as some of the late night talk shows. I'm sure that if your creative enough, hey you could go viral and make some big bucks.

    The thing that pops in to my mind first and foremost is that a fake news site wont be worth a shit without good images... Free speech might cover your ass on your content. But if someone is not amused about your post and you dont have ironclad rights to any pics/gifs that you post... might burn your ass to the ground over copyright usage.

    Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, but I pretend to be one on online forums....:rolleyes:

    Just be careful and cover all your bases ..... Good luck!
     
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  10. kamronk

    kamronk Newbie

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    Wow, thanks alot everybody! I'm definitely going to move forward with this.

    The word Fake will be in the url and name of the site. As well as once you click on the appealing headline, you will find a lengthy list of funny gifs/memes making it obvious that the headline was just meant to get you to click, and that youve been dooped/trolled. Ideally ppl will find it funny and even share with their friends.

    Keeping the gifs/images relevant and classy (and copyright free) will be where the effort comes in, but in time i will only make it easier and easier on myself (im my own programmer)

    Also, any comments on pay per impression ad networks? I've checked some lists of "top 10" or similar. All seem to require a certain number of visitors before applying for acceptance. Anyone have experience with them specifically? I may end up making this one a seperate post
     
  11. kamronk

    kamronk Newbie

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    Hey guys! Just wanted to point out that the homepage for my profile is now the site I've mentioned here :)

    Check it out and let me know what you think! (please)
     
  12. Zwielicht

    Zwielicht Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP

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    I took a look at it. The domain name is neat, although your site seems a little unorganised (I know you're probably still working on it).

    By the way, with that site name you could probably get a creative logo for it (something like the one I made below, although not as rushed and with more colour).

    [​IMG]
     
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    Last edited: May 8, 2015
  13. Lasyte Solutions

    Lasyte Solutions Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    check out the onion. It is a fake news newspaper/website
     
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  14. kamronk

    kamronk Newbie

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    Yes!! I like it, going to play around in photoshop with this idea. I'll be sure to share here what I come up with :) Thanks!
     
  15. thebotlord

    thebotlord Newbie

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    if you are going fake why not go completely fake? use a fake id, use a fake everything to register the domain ect so you are covered and use proxy to cover your ip. if you get a complain just move the url .
     
  16. kamronk

    kamronk Newbie

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    That's pretty much what I've done. BHW is the only place I've discussed me being the owner of the site. Moving URL's would pretty much defeat the purpose of building traffic wouldn't it?
     
  17. thebotlord

    thebotlord Newbie

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    yes. i mean it they sued you or removed your website, you wouldnt care because its not in your name
    so you could just make a new one. or mirror it , but yeah youd have to rebuild traffic. i do it all the time, it can get annoying
     
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  18. thebotlord

    thebotlord Newbie

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    they cant sue you if you dont exist
     
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  19. kamronk

    kamronk Newbie

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    That's very true :)
     
  20. Abcxyz77

    Abcxyz77 Regular Member

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    It's depends on your country rules, in my country a group of dudes writing fake girls reaped to dead news and now they end up in jail. They made 1k$ from Adsense
     
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