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http://www.bermuda.org.uk/

Looks legit, right? It’s a .org, and it has the .uk country domain, and Bermuda is part of the United Kingdom, right? Quite often, non-American websites stack their domains in urls — bbc.co.uk, for example. Sometimes, you also see this with local governance here in the USA — many jersey municipalities have used nj.us at the end of urls. For example, the homepage for the town I live in is http://www.twp.brick.nj.us/. However, Bermuda is a self governing territory and geographically far away from the mainland of the United Kingdom. For many possible and plausible reasons, Bermuda has it’s own domain (.bm) for official business on the Internet. The real website for the Bermudian police is http://www.bermudapolice.bm/. Notice the lack of .uk? So, the question is, why would somebody go through the trouble of registering a misleading web domain? The answer rests with google and search results, obviously. The last time I googled “Bermuda Police” the block quoted URL came first, and the real website came second.

The misleading part continues, slightly, into that page’s content. A partial screen grab:

If you type in “bermudapolice.com” it redirects to the real url listed at the top. See how small the .com is in that title, as well as the “welcome” line? Likely, that’s there to prevent charges of fraud. It’s saying, actually, it’s the official website of a website. Yet, the rest of the page is designed so that at a first glance, you’re tricked into thinking it might be plausible. So is this a complete fraud or not? Hmmm. In that it’s purposely trying to deceive a websurfer, it’s patently dishonest in the way it’s designed. I don’t know. I’ve linked to this page in the past, as there is actual real information to be found here. Once you click around it, the bias is apparent. Whoever put this website up has an obvious axe to grind with the Bermudian Police … is in the “Subvert and Betray” bit on the side. A lot of the information presented is about murder victims, and there is the real issue of violent crime, as of late, and that can very easily cause people to become disenchanted and quite angry, leading to the line on the page “Subvert and Betray.” The statistics are easily found on the real Bermuda Police website, I would link to it, but the site is not giving me a unique URL. However, it’s under “Crime Statistics” in the sidebar. At anyrate, I would have no problem if this page was an honest-to-god blog and didn’t present itself in such a misleading way.

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