Sunday, March 6, 2011

Clones R Us

These days, a lot of people's opinions are influenced heavily by material read on the internet. It's second nature for us to go to the web when we're looking for information about important topics like the news of political/social issues. We rely on the internet to provide us with credible facts. That's why websites with false information can be toxic. I looked around for a less than convincing website about a social issue that many people know little about: Cloning. Since the topic is somewhat mysterious, this website may actually be able to convince viewers that they've "come to the right place" if they're looking for a "cloning solution."
The content of the website, titled "Clones R Us", makes it pretty obvious that it can't be trusted. The information page boasts that those considering cloning can come to DreamTech for a "huge selection" off clones at "low, low prices" with "no paperwork." The wording of the website is less than professional. Take these lines, for example: "With DreamTech, you'll never end up with the wrong baby", "You shouldn't have to wait days, weeks, or even months just because the cloning company can't get its act together" , and "Cloning extends your lifespan by exactly zero." Another giveaway is the price list. The site insists that you can buy the genetic information for celebrities like Cindy Crawford and Michael Jackson (early) for as little as $299. In addition, there are quotes and statistics thrown on the page with no background or contextual information. One example: "53 percent of all couples had heard of DreamTech, 35 percent had heard of Smithson Duplication, and 11 percent had heard of Bio2020. 29 percent had never heard of a cloning firm." I highly doubt that 53% of all couples have heard of DreamTech and it's even harder for me to believe that "an astonishing 47 percent of all respondents said they would entrust DreamTech with producing their clone", another claim made by the site. All photos look like they are from the early 80's.

The website does a poor job of convincing viewers that they are an authority in cloning, despite their dramatic claims. There are only 5 "testimonials" written on the site and no doctors are listed. The procedure is explained very vaguely.

Perhaps the first turn off to viewers is the presentation of the site. The colors don't go well together, the layout is very basic, and the photographs are small and unattractive. Even the font is a major eyesore. They try to explain away the ugly presentation with the following disclaimer:
"This website was produced by one of the founders of Vetsin Productions, a web development company in Cebu City, Philippines. Note that web technology has evolved dramatically since 1997; this site makes use of fairly primitive HTML by today's standards."
While it seems obvious that a website like this would be dismissed instantly, the vast number of internet users ensures that there will be a great number who come across this website and take the information for truth. It is alarming that false sites like this may be influencing individual's opinions about serious issues like cloning.

No comments: