Netcrowds

Collective actions and collisions on the net.

Case: The hunt of the mysterious advertisement love seeker in Finland

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The biggest newspaper in Finland, Helsingin Sanomat, had 29.3.2009 an extraordinary full page ad costing about 20 000 euros. Anonymous person was seeking a woman seen a month ago at restaurant Mecca in Helsinki. Normally these kind of requests are put on the Personal -section and much more cheaper. The original ad with english translation here by 1541.

Many readers thought that it was just a campaign ad instead of personal announcement. At the same time number service Fonecta had quite similar campaign in tv channels. Also MTV3 has started to promo its new tv series about tracking missing people.

But Helsingin Sanomat (HS) insisted, that that the ad was not a part of any commercial campaign and really from anonymous person. Also, HS told that the announcer does not give any interviews and will not come to the publicity. He just hopes that the lost woman might contact to email address lostyouinhelsinki (at) gmail.com.

MuroBBS is the home of the net detectives in Finland. I’ll cover later in my blog some brilliantly solved cases by MuroBBS. In MuroBBS and in Futisforum, for example, were tested the gmail address. They faked to forgot the password and Google asked in Russian about the register number of a car. Also, someone managed to fake Google itself and got secondary address of lostyouinhelsinki (at) gmail.com. That leaded to www site under Geocities and after some fiddling to consumer sector director of Philips in Russia. Need to emphasize, the person working in Philips is just a wild guess and maybe totally wrong lead. Iltalehti covers these ‘findings’ as facts without any mentioning to MuroBBS, Futisforum or other actual net detective sources.

In that phase, Reijo Aarnio, Data Protection Ombudsman of Finland, started to comment the case. – In my point of view, they are playing with fire, he told to Iltalehti.

The mystery is not solved yet. But it might be the case, where the privilegies of the proam net detectives is tested. I’ll cover the case if it has any solutions. Today there has not been any achievements, maybe due to the April fools’ day.

Update 09-04-01 17:55+2 GMT: Ilta-Sanomat published today details in its print version full page coverage about the mysterious ad love seeker. Claimed to be ~40-years old business man, Ilta-Sanomat made detailed profile – althought without any named sources. Ilta-Sanomat thinks this is a solution to the mystery.

The interesting part with this case is – again – how pro journalists use more and more the work of proam net detectives, googling and other net resources without any hesitation or proofing the gathered information. Is the only skill needed to be professional journalist just the ability to make some simple googling nowadays? Ordinary people on the net can do it faster and better.

Update 09-04-02 17:26+2 GMT:
Ilta-Sanomat published today a flowchart how the mysterious ad seeker might have seen the mysterious lady. At least two woman have identified herself as the mysterious lady. One of them in www forum of Vauva-lehti. She writes, that she is actually scaring the man who has so much money that can do so desperate things like whole page ad.

Update 09-04-03 17:26 +2 GMT:
Anonymous Finnish male ITC milionaire seeks escort wife on the web recruitment service Uranus.fi. Obviously April fools’ day prank, but it reached almost 8 000 reades.

Update 09-04-03 09:40 +2 GMT:
Hollywood director Renny Harlin (originated from Finland) has got two ads and love confessions in Personal -section of Helsingin Sanomat from anonymous Leena Leijona (after April fools’ day).

Written by kariahintikka

April 1, 2009 at 12:48 pm

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