Malcor was a Hoax – Did the Mac Heist team go too far?

So, there was this hacker named Malcor that was hijacking Apple websites that were too “fanboi”. (Yeah, I can’t believe I just spelled it that way either.) It got the digg community all a twitter, and it caused quite a stir in the Apple online community. It’s the kind of thing that gets people riled up. It got me riled up – but I decided not to say anything about it. I didn’t see any reason to antagonize the guy and give him the attention that he was looking for.

Well – turns out he was fake. A creation of the guys behind MacHeist, the online game (contest, activity…whatever you want to call it) that caused a bit of controversy last year as well. After the game was over, and numbers started coming out about it, it looked, to some, like Mac Heist may not have been terribly fair or helpful to the indy developers who gave serious (and sometimes ridiculous) discounts on their software. You can read more about that here.

Moving back to the subject of Malcor, Glenn Wolsey (one of the “hacked” bloggers) posted a full reveal and apology for participating in the fake hacking on his blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

I wasn’t the main guy behind this, I simply handed over the keys to my site for 24 hours to the MacHeist crew in full support of their mission. I was part of this because I wanted MHII to be a success, and just like the other sites involved, the decision to help Phill out was an easily made. No cash changed hands in the process, it wasn’t a case of “selling out.”

The idea wasn’t to pump up my traffic, gain readers, or gain exposure for my site. It was in full support of the base idea behind MacHeist – helping indie developers.

But Glenn wasn’t the only one. Another site, Mac Apper, went even further than the initial hack – going so far as to blame the hack on a fault in WordPress. This, as you can imagine, caused thousands of WordPress users (including myself) to wonder if the same thing could happen to us.

Miles Evans at Mac Apper said basically the same thing that Glenn said – he didn’t “sell out” and didn’t mean to hurt anybody…etc, etc.

SO — Obviously some mistakes were made here. I know the guys at both of these sites are adamant that they didn’t do it for the traffic, and I have no reason not to believe them. If they did do it for the traffic, it was a huge mistake. I discovered both of their blogs through this little incident, and I doubt I’ll be subscribing to either RSS feed anytime soon.

This was a REALLY bad idea. The entire deal behind MacHeist really bugs me. When it first launched last year, I was into it. I even gave away invites on the site, but after reading more into what the developers were making vs. the promotors I don’t think the developers are really getting what they should from the deal, and I don’t like marketing stunts like this. People don’t want to be treated like this online. Remember Lonelygirl15? Did ANYONE care about that after it was revealed that it was a scripted show?

This stunt is more than likely going to be end of MacHeist. I can’t say that I’m going to miss it. Maybe one day someone will come up with a bundle like this that really does JUST help the indy developers, instead of making a pile of cash off of their backs.

If anyone is interested in doing that, let me know how I can help (and NO – you can’t pretend to hack my site).

Comments

  1. Well stated Michael! I was in to Macheist last year as well but I too think I will skip it due to the way they have gone about business of late. Kinda sad too as I did love some of the apps they handed out and purchased upgrades for a couple of them. This only hurts the indy developer in the end.

  2. They should have put a “* Ha ha, this is just a joke!” disclaimer at the bottom of the page and everyone would have been happy.

  3. I put AppleMattters on notice that I have removed their site from my bookmarks for one year. – RL

  4. i am still surprised at why so many people are concerned for the developers not getting a fair cutback. no one forced them to participate right? and no one is forcing them to participate this year either right?

    and didn’t they donate a good chunk of money to charity as well?

    the apps are good. people enjoy participating, and the developers entered into these deals on their own accord. i don’t see the point in all the complaining

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