I wrote about the fancy new website for Goshi Hosono to publish (ghost-written) letters to the citizens of Japan last week to apologize for his past sins, which, according to one of the blog's readers cannot be adequately viewed on the smartphones.
Then, over the weekend I started to see the tweets saying "See the source code!". So I did.
And this is what the tweets were talking about: the alt code for the "send button" to send your message from the site. The top is what it is now, and the bottom is from the cache of the same webpage (with relevant parts in green rectangles):
Now: "Please send us your opinions and requests."
Cache: "For those of you who supports "Disaster Debris Disposal by Everyone", please fill out the form below and click "I will support" button."
Oops... The highly paid ad agency who built the site simply reused the old template for the mail form for the wide-area disaster debris disposal site, copied and pasted the code.
What they didn't count on was that many net citizens in Japan would watch everything that this particular ministry and this particular minister do with deep suspicion, and it took them no time to look at the source code and spread this information on Twitter, saying "Look, if you click the button to send your opinion, they (Hosono's ministry) will count it as a vote of approval and support for wide-area debris disposal!" I got the news from one of the tweets of this blog, which was probably the first one to alert people.
Someone at the ad agency seems to have caught on quick enough and modified the particular alt code, but before the webpage was cached and the damage was done. Another one for Hosono, but he seems to be too thick-skinned to feel anything.
(Alt code specifies what text message or description is displayed when the image is not loaded for some reason - in this case, "send" button.)