Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Twitter account @ShellIsPrepared is not affiliated with the Shell energy company, but rather is part of an elaborate online hoax set up by the environmentalist group Greenpeace and social activists The Yes Men.

Since last June, visitors to were met with a website that on first glance appeared to be an authentic Shell site, but in reality was a mock site as part of a full-on digital effort that began with a viral video set up to protest the company and draw attention to the environmental costs of the energy industry.

At the heart of the satirical site are a series of fake advertisements seemingly designed to get viewers to do an unbelieving double-take.

“Helping the torch of humanity shine just a little bit brighter. Let’s go,” reads one ad that shows a steaming refuse dump.

The site made a stir when it was first noticed, but the controversy was rekindled on Wednesday as Twitter users fell for satirical tweets from @ShellIsPrepared, an account tied to the hoax project.