StopMorsico, a campaign against the elite dining club Morsico which alledgedly offers members gorilla and dolphin meat, has been accusedof being an elaborate hoax. StopMorsico has used facebook, twitter, Care2petitionsite and uploaded YouTube videos to supposedly expose the distasteful habits of Morsico.
The YouTube video shows a woman (her face blurred) explaining how, when travelling in Macau, she was invited to an elite club where she was shocked to find that they were eating gorilla along with other endangered animals. The woman on the video begs those watching to sign her campaign to make Club Morsico extinct, using an eight second recording of a gorilla head to prove the authenticity of her claims.
Youtube commenters appear to be unimpressed with one commenter writing “The problem with these fake campaigns is that they divert attention and resources away from genuine causes out there.” To which StopMorsico replied, “Whether you believe me or not, there are many thousands of people who have engaged with my campaign over the last week or more and are at least considering these issues. Is that doing harm?”
A parody video has also been released in response by a youtube channel called ClubMorisco, which shows Sir Richard Richard (playing on the campaign’s anti-elite sentiment) filming his takeaway meal claiming it is gorilla and other endangered animals.
The Twitter/Facebook account claims to have photos from the menu showing gorilla and lynx being offered for diners to enjoy, along with the provocative advert for the campaign featuring a panda crying blood with a knife and fork beneath its head. StopMorsico has posted and tweeted on their pages denying the allegations of it being a pseudo-campaign.
“I have sent my video anonymously to the relevant authorities (police, interpol, animal rights organisations), but I am afraid they agree with some of the people on this group that the video alone does not substantiate my claims, and that in any case their are no other leads to follow to get to anyone at Morsico – as the website and organisation is so secretive.”
Morisco does not have an online presence apart from a website with a member’s login, and information about the club claiming to offer a unique dining experience to members based on Monsieur Bonvalet’s Feast of Beasts in Paris in 1870.
Humane Rights, a Twitter account with 4,787 followers dedicated to fighting for human and animal rights has tweeted a link to the StopMorisco campaign, and the StopMorsico petition has 2,005 signatures aiming for 10,000. The question of whether it is real or not spilt Facebook users, who either ridicule the campaign or defend it for promoting animal rights against the ostentatious rich.
After emailing both Morsico and the StopMorsico campaign, I received no response. So who is the women on the video, what are her motives? Is anything that is mentioned in the campaign real or mere fabricated sensationalism? If StopMorsico is a hoax, is it a beneficial hoax for causing us to think about animal rights or is it undermining legitimate online campaigns? Is any part of Morsico or StopMorsico real, or is the entire thing a very elaborate troll?