Friday, June 29, 2007

Exxon Muscles The Yes Men

The Yes Men struck oil two weeks ago. Now, Big Oil has struck back.

Posing as Exxon-Mobil executive Florian Osenberg and National Petroleum Council (NPC) representative S.K. Wolff, two Yes Men pranksters in mid-June gave the featured presentation to 300 oilmen at "GO-EXPO," Canada's largest annual oil conference. The topic was "Vivoleum," a new alternative fuel source made from the remains of people who become "victims of climate change."

To demonstrate how oil companies can "keep fuel flowing" and prosper even as billions die from the effects of global warming, candles made from the cadaver of a deceased Exxon-Mobil janitor were handed out to the audience. It was only at that late point that understanding dawned for Simon Mellor, a director of the company putting on the event. reports he "strode up and physically forced the Yes Men from the stage."

Here, you can see a part of the spoof speech and Mellor's reaction as reported by Ashley Hargrave from the convention center and broadcast on BNet News:

The story doesn't end there, however. In angry reaction, Exxon-Mobil -- the largest corporation in the world -- allegedly hacked the Yes Men's web site, disabled their email service, and forced their web host to censor all references to the oil company. Only yesterday, bloggers and other fans of the Yes Men began receiving news of this extraordinary corporate thuggery.

Infoshop, among too many others for even Exxon-Mobil to silence, has the story -- along with a reprint of the Yes Men's new email message describing the hack:
One day after the Yes Men made a joke announcement that ExxonMobil plans to turn billions of climate-change victims into a brand-new fuel called Vivoleum, the Yes Men's upstream internet service provider shut down, the Yes Men's spoof website, and cut off the Yes Men's email service, in reaction to a complaint whose source they will not identify. The provider, Broadview Networks, also made the Yes Men remove all mention of Exxon from
before they'd restore the Yes Men's email service.
This is so typical of the chronically short-term vision of the oil industry. Until Exxon hacked the Yes Men, almost no one outside Calgary, Canada, even knew about the June 15 prank. Now, the story is circulating throughout the world wide web.

Way to go, Exxon! Is this what you mean by "high ethical standards, operations integrity, and flawless execution?"


Anonymous said...

ha ha. someone at exxon should lose their job over this. the yes men never would have been noticed without exxon going too far.

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