More on “news alerts”

After publishing the previous article entitled “Watch out for ‘news alerts,’ I did some updated checking to see if either CNN.com or MSNBC.com have acknowledged the problem and have tried to do anything about it. I’m pleased to say that progress is being made – I think…

MSNBC.com has actually put up a blog article about the “news alert” problem. Why they haven’t given it more visibility and have chosen to hide it back on a more obscure spot on their website is, at the minimum, a mystery. You would think that they would want to get the word out and put more emphasis on the problem. Maybe they are afraid that somehow it will diminish their appeal to their readers. If that is the case, it is definitely a misplaced caution.

One of the comments to the MSNBC.com blog article mentions that in order to watch the live Olympic video NBC.com is offering, NBC.com requires that you download a special viewer program. This is exactly what the sp@@mers are doing – so it is very easy for viewers to get confused? In both cases a properly configured web browser will throw up a caution and require you to confirm that you really want to download the new program. If yours is not doing this, then you need to update your browser to IE7 or a later version of Firefox.

Snopes.com is also reporting this scam and confirming that a very dangerous virus is attached to the program you are asked to download. It also reports that “FBI Bulletins” have been duplicated to spread similar viruses. Take time to read this article as it is very informative. Snopes.com can be relied upon as a good source for information of this type as well as “urban legends.”

I’m disheartened by the fact that CNN.com has not even mentioned the problem – either on its newscasts or on its website. If you go to their website and do a search, you will only get generic Google.com searches. Most of their articles are very out of date and none mention the “news alert” or “CNN.com Top Ten” emails that are being sent out with their design and logos all over them.

You’d think that a big news corporation like CNN.com would want to inform its viewers and readers that such a scam is out their and misrepresenting CNN’s good name. Whatever happened to “The News You Can Use” objective of CNN.com?

I’m sorry, but I have to once again give high marks to MSNBC.com for staying on top of important issues while giving CNN much lower marks for seeming to be oblivious to real news. CNN used to set the industry standard and has the resources to be the real leader in news. But they have faltered in my eyes and are falling way behind MSNBC. In fact, they may only be running neck and neck with FoxNews in terms of relevancy. Sad, very sad indeed.

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