A group of corporate pranksters called The Yes Men is pranking again: This time, one of their targets is hedge fund manager John Paulson. The group is calling for a citizen's arrest of Paulson, based on his large holdings of AngloAshnati Gold stock—as pointed out by Lawrence Delevingne in his article today for Absolute Return + Alpha.
But, so far, the Yes Men fingerprints are hard to find. What there is this website. The website is a spoof—and impressive factual imitation—of the official Apple website. (Even the URLs look similar.)
The general idea seems to be this: Apple's iPhone contains minerals that are sometimes mined in conflict zones. In the words of the spoof website, "…[T]he minerals that are used in the production of various software products have largely been extracted from mines in Africa, especially the Congo. For the most part this mining has gone unchecked and therefore companies have been unable to tell whether or not the mines they source their materials from have been mines under the control of rebel groups further fueling a conflict that has killed more than 5,000, 000 civilians."
And the prank seems to be this: The spoof website states that Apple has decided that it will no longer manufacture iPhone's that use minerals mined in war zones. In the words of the website, "The new iPhoneCF guarantees to all its customers the same high quality phone as the original iPhone 4 with the added bonus of taking you one step closer to a world without conflict."
Then, the spoof website informs Apple iPhone users to show up at a New York Apple retail location at a pre-arranged time—when they can exchange their old iPhone's for the newer version.
The bit about Paulson is listed on a separate tab on the spoof site labeled "Do", which reads: "You can also perform a citizen's arrest against shareholders and officers of the mining companies…Why not start with John Paulson, the majority shareholder of AngloGold Ashanti..."
The spoof website then goes on to provide Paulson's office address.
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