Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search


WTO Director General Moore Deplores Fake WTO Sites

WTO DG Moore deplores fake WTO websites: They "undermine WTO transparency"

WTO Director-General Mike Moore has severely criticized recently-created websites which mimic the WTO’s websites and create confusion among the public. He says the WTO welcomes criticism and change, but is concerned that the confusion created by the fake sites with their misleading Internet links is a disservice to the public. This could disrupt a much-needed debate by making WTO information more difficult to obtain.
This is the text of his statement:

"I am deeply concerned about the recent appearance of anonymous websites which copy important design features of the WTO’s official websites. This causes confusion among visitors looking for genuine information from the WTO, disrupting a much-needed democratic dialogue. It’s illegal and it’s unfair to those who have a genuine case in criticizing the WTO, an organization that only functions with the authority of sovereign governments.

"By creating confusion, the fake websites are interfering with the public’s ability to obtain information from the WTO. They have copied the WTO website’s design, and they use domain names such as ‘’ and page titles such as ‘World Trade Organization / GATT Home Page’ which make it difficult for visitors to realize that these are fake pages. Whereas the WTO uses the image of the official logo of the WTO Ministerial Conference as a hyperlink to the official conference website, these fake sites use it to link to anti-WTO material — further misleading web users.

"The WTO and its members uphold the rights of others to criticize and comment on WTO affairs, including the right to protest publicly. The WTO is, after all, a forum for governments to debate and negotiate trade issues, reflecting the various concerns and interests of their citizens.

"Confusing the public is another matter. Contrary to critics’ allegations, the WTO is highly transparent. The WTO website already contains over 60,000 official documents in the three official languages (English, French and Spanish), including minutes of meetings, and some 200,000 visitors per month download the equivalent of millions of pages of documents in addition to browsing regular web pages. The vast majority of these documents are released to the public immediately and the rest are derestricted within about six months. The WTO Secretariat receives and replies to thousands of enquiries each week by telephone and email, a large number coming through the WTO website, either directly by email or via the contact telephone numbers on the website.

"Those who wish to see the WTO become more transparent should join me in deploring any action which makes it more difficult for the public to gain access to WTO information. It’s ironic that while the WTO is accused of lacking transparency, some critics who put out misleading or false information are camouflaging their identities.

© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


Resignation Of Metiria Turei: Were Journalists 'just Doing Their Job'?

In our research we examined the role of journalism in animating the Turei controversy and the different perceptions of professional journalists and online commentators sympathetic to Turei’s left politics. ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Extradition Of Julian Assange

It isn’t necessary to like Julian Assange to think that his extradition to the US (on the charge of aiding and abetting Chelsea Manning) would be a major injustice... More>>


Gordon Campbell: Islamic State Meets The Searchers

The histories of the European children forcibly recruited into Native American tribal life during the 19th century do remind us of just how difficult the social re-integration of the children of ISIS is likely to be. More>>

Joseph Cederwall: CJR Analysis Of Post-Christchurch Media Coverage

After the Christchurch massacre, Columbia Journalism Review analysed news sources to see how outlets complied with guidelines from groups that seek to limit the amplification of terrorist acts through media. More>>

News Deserts: The Death March Of Local Journalism

Joseph Cederwall: The corporate media sector seems unable to do anything to halt the raging dumpster fire of consolidation, layoffs and centralisation of content production. All this means we are increasingly seeing ‘news deserts’ appearing in local communities. Illustration by Paul Sahre. More>>