FTC shuts down bogus news sites

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The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has put an end to a group of websites that improperly masqueraded as health news sites.

FTC officials have shut down 10 diet product websites that falsely promoted themselves as health news sites. According to the FTC, the sites also claimed false endorsements from the likes of CNN and Consumer Reports in a bid to push the Acai Berry diet programme.

The sites in question would promote their products with headlines akin to "News Alert" or "Health News Health Alerts" in a bid to swindle customers into thinking they were reading something other than an advertisement.

While reading the sites consumers were reportedly tricked into thinking the Acai Berry diet was endorsed by reputable news outlets like CNN. Meaning, in essence, that consumers were tricked into caring about magical weight-loss fruit because it was promoted by the same network that employs Piers Morgan.

Acai Berry, for those who are not following "Health News Health Alerts", is a South American fruit that purportedly aids in weight loss.

Following the FTC ruling the operator of the sites will pay a $1.6m fine and be forced to close shop on the bogus websites.

This isn't the first time Acai Berries have spammed the internet. In 2010, a large number of Twitter users were tweeted spam about the diet product.

Users who shared a Twitter password with a Gawker account were inundated with Acai Berries following a hack on Gawker servers.

08 Feb 2013

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