David Serero, the Man Behind the Great Eiffel Tower Hoax of ’08


Remember a couple of weeks back when the internet was all abuzz with the news that a firm had been selected to redesign the Eiffel Tower and everything was already set in motion and in no time would we all be making mass pilgrimages to Paris to see this amazing new creation? And then, of course, you’ll also recall when everyone found out it wasn’t for real? Well, by way of Archinect, we found this great interview with David Serero, the person responsible for the whole debacle. In it, he explains how a simple idea snowballed into a gigantic hoax, a brilliant PR stunt, or just a weird accident. He also has some interesting things to say about how blogs did a much better job at figuring out the truth than conventional media outlets who were eager to believe the story. Here’s a bit of that:

EG.com: The ease by which respected news sources have picked up on this story without doing any meticulous fact checking has highlighted the power of misinformation on the internet. Is this a reflection of declining standards in journalism nowadays?

David Serero: What really striked me is the manner information, was more accurately transmitted by the internet media ( such as blogs) in opposition with the written press who did a really bad job. I believed that the crisis that the press media is facing today (freenewspaper competition, all the new support of information ) is unfortunately putting a stress of them and make them more dependant of readers. They need create surprises and to announce “scoop” news. We are effectively in a paradoxical moment, where a network of highly independent entities ( such as blogs) are more reactive and precise than huge media groups.