All those applications at facebook are really a bit annoying. Beside steeling your time and violating your privacy they are only useful to provide some fun and keep you in contact with your friends. But what one application made possible is really exciting. Ok, it was not only the application, it was also the person of Arash Derambarsh who messed around with the French press.
As for example TechCrunch.com writes in “French Press Falls For Major Facebook Prank” it all started with a simple application called “Facebook President”. With this application Facebook users could vote for a worldwide president of Facebook. All Facebook users could run for the presidency.
Quite soon a guy got involved called Arash Derambarsh (a Frenchman) who started his own campaign via his homepage. In his program he pledged to “promote goodwill and tolerance among the three world monotheistic Faiths (Christian, Jewish and Muslim), fight against illiteracy and analphabetism and promote French-speaking communities” in case he will become president. [taken from www.facebookpresident.com]
Elections took place and Arash received the majority of votes. Short after it the French press payed attention to the newly-elected world-wide president of Facebook as he was one of their fellow countrymen. His story was covered even in traditional media like TV or newspapers.
No matter what he said (close contact with Facebook Inc., project with UNESCO, access to a special function to reach all Facebook users worldwide) or what his presidency actually implies, the French media just covered his story without verifying the facts.
A few days later the French press had to back-pedal as it showed up that he actually got the majority of votes in the Facebook president application, but that is all. End of the story. There is no connection to Facebook Inc. nor is there any to the UNESCO. His presidency is not of any importance to the Facebook community.
This is a really great example for a well staged hoax and maybe an indication that the traditional (French) media is not that familiar with Web 2.0.
For more information see:
[image taken from www.facebookpresident.com]