Mystery: Who Is Behind Site That Posted Fake Rosewood Prostitution Bust Story?
If you missed it over the weekend, take a moment and read Pete Delevett’s story about how a fake blog post about a prostitution bust of venture capitalists has put a damper on Cougar Night at the Rosewood Hotel. Just take a moment and re-read that last sentence. It brings together a string of words that reporters dream about their whole careers.
Prostitution. Venture Capitalists. Cougar Night. Bust.
Which is why, at least for a moment, people were so willing to believe the story might be genuine when it appeared on a mysterious new Web site called: Silicon Valley Pasquinade. The headline was just too delicious: “Rosewood Hotel Prostitution Sting Snares Top VCs.”
But quickly, people note that “pasquinade” meant: “A satire or lampoon, especially one that ridicules a specific person, traditionally written and posted in a public place.” And so it was.
But the mystery remains: Who is behind this site?
As for the moment, no one seems to know. And the site itself offers few clues. According to a search for the domain’s owner, they have decided to keep that information anonymous. So much for that.
And the site itself doesn’t offer much help, either. The site is built on Drupal, an open-source content management system. While it’s not incredibly complex to install and use, it’s harder than basic blogging platforms like WordPress.
The content itself it also haphazard, ocassionally funny, and at other times sloppy and full of typos.
For instance, there’s a story of Netflix deciding to open stores where people could rent and dropoff DVDs. The stores would be called “Netbuster.” Netflix + Blockbuster. Get it? Netflix opening stores? Almost, but not quite funny.
Then there is “Twitter Ups Character Limit For Premium Users.” Ho, ho. The author has a bit better idea with: “Larry Page’s Voice Found at Redwood City Bar.”
Most bizarre of all is “Page 2 Girl” Q&A with someone named “Danielle Dortmund, 24, Developer Recruiter for Google Mobile.” It features such almost-funny fare as:
SVP: Turn offs?
DD: Crying after sex (Eric S. you know who you are), 4am booty calls from a hackathon, and socks with Birkenstocks.
The site overall has a half-hearted feel to it. And it probably would have languished as somebody’s unknown hobby if not for the Rosewood Hotel story, which hit the viral jackpot. Of course, it scored not because it was funny. But because it seemed potentially likely to be true.
For now, we’ll just have to wait to see if the author steps up to write a sequel. Or whether they just fade away.
If you have any thoughts about who might be behind the site, share them in the comments below.