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Fake news? Look for the clues.

That exhilarating feeling when an artist announces a local show is something that can only really be surpassed by the euphoria of actually seeing said artist live in concert.

Unfortunately, on that note, we have witnessed something going on over the past few days that is slightly worrisome.

A series of new Facebook events gained the attention of a lot of people, detailing a handful of shows for a major hip-hop artist coming to New Zealand later this year.

It's true, the artist is coming to New Zealand later this year.

Except in actual fact, the Facebook event was created by an affiliate of an international ticket reselling website with no involvement whatsoever with the event or the artist.

Attention to detail

At first glance the events look standard - a handsome portrait photo of the artist, a basic title, a button/link to purchase tickets, and even the legitimate dates of the artist's actual show in New Zealand later this year. Seems legit right?

Wrong. Look a bit closer and you'll start to notice some underlying issues.

The first red flag is the description. If a promoter were to bring such a massive name to New Zealand, you would think that they might write a captivating description that emphasises just how amazing that artist really is, as well as provide at least some more basic details about the event.

fake description

This guy played a role in Interstellar and all they could muster up was a hashtag with his rap name?

Let's give the event creator the benefit of the doubt and assume that they were just feeling a tad lazy - after all, it was a Wednesday afternoon when they set up the event, and we all know how bad hump day can be.

Moving on, a nifty little button to buy tickets sits at the top of the event page, nestled comfortably amongst the main details, awaiting its next victim.

the buy button

So subtle and so beautifully simple.

Follow the link and you'll be redirected to a completely different website to the one listed on the event, where you'll discover not a single mention to an Auckland event within the array of other shows by the artist. Furthermore, the website clearly states to be a resale service, where "prices may be above face value".

Last, but certainly not least, the community posts on the Facebook event itself paint a pretty clear picture as to the authenticity of the event.

fake description

Still tempted?

Prove it

Your honour, just a tiny bit of investigative work unveils the official Facebook events for the shows, created by the artist himself, no less.

But what does it mean?!

The resale website mentioned runs what is called an affiliate program, meaning that just about anyone can sign up in an attempt to make money by referring people to purchase tickets through the resale service.

Long story short, some wise guy is sitting at his computer, picking his nose, and creating fake/spammy Facebook events under a semi-legitimate company name, in what they probably think is a smart attempt at earning some side cash through affiliate marketing.

Drop the mic

This is the sort of behaviour we despise. This is why we are building Mainstage. Aside from our desire to transform the ticketing industry, we just want to be able to stop this sort of stuff from happening in the first place. Stay tuned.

abraham lincoln

Feel free to get in touch with us on Twitter - we welcome all feedback and criticism.

Are you an event organiser/promoter, venue manager, or are you involved with events in some other way? We would love to hear from you.

Fake news? Look for the clues.
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