Here is another EXCELLENT example of why you cannot believe everything you see or read on the Internet, especially if you are a journalist.
I was scrolling through one of my Facebook friend's timelines tonight when I stopped at a photo and story about a new organization called Half-Caste World which is attempting to create a new generation of one race, and bridge Africa and the West. To do this, the Ghanaian-based company is promising to help African mothers get sperm from white men so they can give birth to a biracial baby.
It recruits clients via a Facebook page and website: http://www.halfcastebabies.com/
To promote the service, the Half Caste Babies website includes the above row of images which would lead the average visitor to believe these are clients holding their half-caste babies produced through the service.
One popular Ghanaian site, Infoboxx, wrote on the story but unfortunately reported as if it was a booming and thriving business,already.
"HOTCAKE: Half-Caste Baby Business Booming In Ghana. Got $3000?" is the headline which sent many visitors into a frenzy commenting and sharing the story on their personal Facebook pages. The comments under the story dealt with race, pride, colonialism and other deep and complex topics.
Infoboxx wrote that in its investigations it discovered that a man named Augustine N.K. Boateng, a graduate of Morocco's University Mohammed Premier is behind the 4-month old company, based in Accra, Ghana and promises to provide semen for $3,000 to its target: single African women.
Women who get the sperm are to inseminate it themselves at home.
But before declaring it as a booming business in the headline, Infoboxx could quickly have ascertained the truth by investigating the images on the website alone.
Heck, upon discovering that owner admitted the company is only 4-months old should be sufficient to note that the photos and claims of real clients are all fraudulent. It still takes 9 months to make a baby. duh.
Anyway, because I've covered baby-related stories for over 6 years now, I've seen it all and quickly ascertained the source of most of the images on the site.
The first two photos are stories of African couples who gave natural birth to light or albino babies with blonde hair who looked white. We reported in 2010 on the second couple: a Nigerian husband and wife, Ben and Angela, from London who gave birth to very light almost albino daughter who looks white but is their birth child.
The third photo is actress Garcelle Beauvais who is holding one of her twins, Jax . She gave birth to him and his brother Jaid in 2007. The image is a 2009 photo of Beauvais and her son featured on Babble.com.
EDITED TO ADD: The site has taken down the photo of Garcelle, further PROOF that it's one big SCAM!
The fourth photo is American NFL player DeMarcus Ware and his wife Taniqua with a baby they adopted in America in 2008.
The last one was probably also stolen off of Google images too and most likely is the child of a natural-born baby or adopted one, not a client of this Half-Caste company.
Upon discovering this, it looks as though the images of the babies that scroll through on the site most likely are of people's children that the site downloaded off the web. None is a client or product of clients as portrayed.
How unethical, dangerous, unhealthy and disastrous. Beware of the scam online, people. Stories like this one is why people have to be really cautious of the photos of their children they share online in public.
A little Google search and a healthy dose of skepticism will spare us all from scam artists like this.