A few news sites were hoaxed by a fake Craigslist advertisement but soon made corrections after learning the ad wasn’t legitimate.
The Craigslist ad showed a series of conversations between Sotheby’s employees discussing how to use copy and paste to upload the ad. See below a portion of the ad.
After the initial post, the hoaxers added a “mejia.saima” writing that “I’m having problems copying and pasting the info. I try to highlighted ad then go to edit and click copy. can you help me please?” In response a “Mrs. Debra Delman” instructs “mejia.saima” how to copy and paste. While “meija.saima” is shown copying and pasting the whole conversation and the ad posting over and over again, the person says he/she can’t get copying and pasting the text to work.
Falling for the hoax ad, Gawker commented that the ad’s accidental inclusion of that conversation illustrated the need for a quick administrative assistant hire.
But, Gawker, Huffington Post and New York Magazine should have factchecked before publishing. Sotheby’s didn’t make the ad, according to a spokesperson’s comments to Gawker after Gawker’s original story was posted. All three sites have posted “updates” admitting the story was a hoax.
The ad also has been “flagged for removal” by Craigslist.
iMediaEthics has written to Sotheby’s asking for more information about this fake ad and will update with any response.