August 12, 2022

The Queens County Citizen

Complete Canadian News World

Festivals | Fakes in the light

Festivals |  Fakes in the light

The season of major cultural events not only attracts crowds but also fakes on the internet. The latest victims: the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal (FIJM) and the Festival d’été de Québec, whose programming and identity have been replicated by several misleading Facebook pages.

Posted at 7:00 am

Charles-Eric Blais-Paulin

Charles-Eric Blais-Paulin

CRi, The Roots, Woodkid… almost all major concerts at the Montreal Jazz event are faked to make bogus online events. Discourses work: thousands of festival-goers, including fellow journalists and employees of FIJM, have announced their presence or their interest on these pages, which have no connection to the official organization.

The phenomenon of fake online concerts that flourished amid the pandemic is making a comeback. Festivals are a headache for communication teams.

Jazz alone is the subject of over a hundred misleading pages. Malicious internet users usually post links that lead there streaming Good luck, credit card number may be required here.

Among other examples, at least seven dubious incidents have been created for the – very real – passage of the hip-hop collective The Roots. Many use July 9 at 9:30 p.m., when Philadelphia headliners take the main stage at Place des Festivals.

The creators of these parallel events always present themselves under more or less credible false identities: “The Roots Festival International de Jazz de Montréal”, “Strome-Multitude Tour Center Bell” or “Mad Boy”.

“We report these fake events and fake Facebook accounts every day, but fake events use many names, create new pages, explained Christine Montreuil, media relations manager for Équipe Spectra, the promoter of the FIJM. This is a task that our teams have to start every day. »

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Viral simulations

Malicious pages for The Roots concert alone drew interest from 10,000 netizens; They have publicly confirmed their presence there or stated their interest. This is more than the 7,300 Facebook users who appeared on the legitimate event page created by FIJM on the social network.

Photo taken from the event’s Facebook page

Malicious pages related to The Roots concert have attracted more than 10,000 netizens.

“It’s important to mention that people should always check the official source, the event organiser, before clicking,” says Team Spectra Branding and Social Media Managers.

Fake accounts often use our logos, branding and other information. Beware of imitations!

Team Spectra’s branding and social media division

Some concerts were invented from scratch. An acquaintance of the author of these lines wondered, for example, the presence of Jack Johnson in jazz next Thursday. The viral event created by the “Jazz Festival” page doesn’t take place in Montreal, as it takes place on the grounds of Abraham as part of the Festival d’Éte de Quebec, so no babysitter needed. At the time of writing these lines, nearly 4,000 people have slid their mouse cursor to “present” or “interested.”

As Facebook’s algorithm obliges, every interaction on a fraudulent page risks contaminating its contacts.

No transmission from FIJM

“For the most part, fake events indicate that they are online events,” says Spectra. This year, the Montreal International Jazz Festival is not broadcasting concerts live. »

This is done without considering the activities of fakes in official accounts. “Several fake webcast links are circulating in the comments of our publications, blaming the promoter. These comments were created by fake Facebook accounts. Please report and block. »

Different dates and locations, fictitious concerts, counterfeiting of legitimate pages: in addition to the risk of bank fraud, misleading events create confusion among festival-goers. People should always consult the official program and, in the case of paying for concerts, use legitimate ticket offices – Ticketmaster, Place des Arts, etc. —, underlines the Spectra team.

Facebook has not responded to our requests for information at the time of this writing.

What to do about fakes, according to Team Spectra

  • report the event;
  • Verify the event creator page. Reporting a fraudulent page allows you to delete all false events it generates;
  • Block all fraudulent accounts and events to prevent them from being passed through your contacts algorithm.