Following the New York Times prank recently staged by The Yes Men and friends, the South African Diamond conglomerate DeBeers is up in arms, threatening to have the website shut down. A fake DeBeers advertisement (below) that was shown on nytimes-se.com is the source of the controversy.
DeBeers, a giant in the diamond industry, has tried to distance itself from the blood diamond crisis, and those moves inspired the parody ad that appeared next to similar spoofs of General Motors and Monsanto. The company is now trying to intimidate the domain name registrar into shutting down the nytimes-se.com domain name, a move to sidestep the First Amendment and other protections of parody as free speech. The site is reportedly “at risk” and its creators have been granted representation by the Electronic Frontier Foundation as they proceed with mediation.