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Web Article: BibTeX citation key:  Bonod2012
LOYS BONOD. 2012. Comment j'ai pourri le web: Petite expérience amusante sur l'usage du numérique en lettres. Accessed 10th Jan 2017, from: <http://www.laviemoderne ... ment-j-ai-pourri-le-web>.
Added by: sashi 2017-01-10 20:20:46    Last edited by: flip 2017-02-17 02:44:42
Categories: history, literature, speaking through machines
Keywords: cognitive dissonance, confidence booster, copy-paste, education, france, hoax, Panurge, Wikipedia
Creators: Bonod
Publisher: La vie moderne: ce qui est moderne peut (aussi) être idiot

Number of views:  286
Popularity index:  56.3%

Loys Bonod is a high school French teacher. In 2012, this article received significant media attention over a period of a few weeks. The idea was simple: Bonod changed some biographical information about a pretty obscure 17th century French poet on fr.wikipedia and then gave his students a poem that they had to write a paper on. This poem it should be noted was full of gorging rainbows and other such hardening unicornisms. Not surprisingly, the kids (a bit dans l'embarras) went to wikipedia to try to learn more about why these weird erection reveries from more than 300 years ago are part of "the program" (cognitive dissonance seeking common ground).

Those who were "busted" for repeating the planted information were not named in public, but the story was much parlayed via twitter, forum, radio and television into many ears. ^^

His 5 steps: 1) introduce errors in WP as described above (diff)
2) operated a mini-sock farm on a high school forum (a helpful scholar responds to a student at a loss about 17th century upper-class rainbow culture), possibly among others.
3) wrote a crap commentary that anyone can pay to read and gave it to two such sites ( and, neither of which asked any copyright questions.
4) he worked on his SEO by making a web of links (Cf. 2)
5) he gave the assignment and waited.

6) he debriefed the students, told them they should feel free to comment on 17th C. aristo-culture from their own perspective, I imagine.
7) he was interviewed in various mainstream sources, discussed on fora, interrogated and applauded on Soon afterwards, he was invited to testify in committee hearings at the Sénat.

Off-topic: Anne de Beaunais (bonnet d'âne in the story was inevitably -- at least for many readers if not intentionally -- a reference to Jean-Paul Brighelli's blog.)
Added by: sashi    Last edited by: flip

The thread disussing this at

Comme j'étais naif à l'époque déjà... ^^
Added by: sashi    Last edited by: sashi

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