The Student News Site of Cathedral High School | Indianapolis, Indiana

Irish Connection

The Student News Site of Cathedral High School | Indianapolis, Indiana

Irish Connection

The Student News Site of Cathedral High School | Indianapolis, Indiana

Irish Connection

Fake or Real:

Previous Cathedral Media site, IrishMegaphone, has been bought by someone online and is posing to be the current news site with stories from current staff.

In June 2023, IrishMegaphone was rebranded to Irish Connection Media Network which houses yearbook, broadcasting and newspaper. When this decision was made, the IrishMegaphone URL was left to expire and a new one was purchased. However, in January, someone online purchased the URL back and is posting as the Cathedral High School media network and identifying as one of its students. 

This purchase started off as posting as “Megaphone Staff,” but quickly became a news site with stories only written by Cathedral senior Avery Stuckey and by the Megaphone Staff. In order to make this happen, the buyer utilized an online portal known as “The Wayback Machine,” which includes an archive of all internet activity. By using this website, the person recovered old graphics, logos, names and biographies, which they are now utilizing within their published fake news stories. 

Director of Technology, Mr. Jim Wilkinson, has been working alongside the technology department and administration to try to remove this website from the internet. Wilkinson said, “We have actually been in contact with the site owner to take down some things, which they did, briefly. Then, three days later, they brought everything back. We are now in talks of purchasing the site back.” 

To purchase the URL back, members of technology and administration will have to agree upon a price which is also agreed upon with the companies and the buyer. Wilkinson notes that the cost attached to this can range from $1,500 to $5,000, but the final cost is unsure at the moment. 

When these stories began to be published, it initially seemed that these were current stories from the current newspaper staff. However, Wilkinson advises students to be on the lookout for real vs. fake news, but especially to keep their online accounts safe through two factor authentication, and not to fall for fake news. He encourages students to report these fake websites and not be a victim to spoofing, as it is growing rapidly and will continue to do so. 

The Technology Department has been working with websites like GoDaddy and ICANN to push to have the website removed. Wilkinson is also working with a domain broker to begin the process of buying the domain back. He has been able to contact the buyer and ask to remove any affiliation with Cathedral, which was gone for a period of time, but then published again. The website is registered through GoDaddy, therefore the registration could be pulled, however they are not willing to take those actions. 

He said, “This person purchased the URL in a legitimate transaction, that’s why they use something like the Wayback Machine to pull information from the old site. Then, that is how they begin the spoofing, but because it is offshore and not in the United States, there is not much legal recourse.” 

Wilkinson advises students and staff to “be aware of what you read” as spoofing is continuing to grow and affect people today. He said, “This is a crime that is going to be more and more prevalent as the idea of spoofing on social media and other platforms will increase.”

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About the Contributor
Caroline Schilling 
Caroline Schilling , Executive Editor
Caroline Schilling is the Megaphone Executive Editor and a Cathedran photographer. She has been on Megaphone staff since her freshman year. Caroline is a member of the Class of 2024. Also at Cathedral, she is a girls basketball manager and is heavily involved in KassieKares.

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