The Real Story Behind the (Extremely Convincing) Fake Gap Website

"This is not about a hoax on the company, it's about justice for the workers who make the company possible."

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5/22/2014 UPDATE: The site has been shut down, according to the organization that created it. Continue reading the original post below.

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At first (and even second) glance, the website looks astonishingly like it might be the place to read about the clothier's official response to last year's garment-factory fires and collapses in Bangladesh. But it's actually a very elaborate hoax.

Cleverly designed to look like a real Gap operation (there are even links to Banana Republic, Intermix, and the other brands Gap owns at the top of each page), the site, which went live on Tuesday, claims that the company is committed to "providing $200,000 in compensation to those affected by the Aswad Composite Mills fire in October 2013." It also says the company will join the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, one of the groups inspecting clothing workshops in that country. There's even a fabricated statement, attributed to Gap's CEO Glenn Murphy, that says, "Dangerous working conditions and poor compensation is not something that we can or should accept."

Gap's public-relations team was extremely quick to say it had no connection to the website or its social-media profiles. "These sites are not authorized by Gap Inc. or any of its brands," a spokeswoman told WWD. "We are investigating the source of these fake digital properties." The site is still live, but the Twitter account @gapdoesmore has already been suspended.

An organization called 18 Million Rising (18MR), which advocates for Asian people living in America, claimed responsibility for the site on Tuesday evening when it issued a statement that uses a play on Gap's slogan, "Do more than sell clothes."

"This is not about a hoax on the company, it's about justice for the workers who make the company possible," the group said in its statement. "Gap Inc. has refused so far to 'do more' for the most vulnerable workers in its supply chain, so now we are demanding more."

One person 18MR shouldn't demand anything more from is whoever designed the website for them.

—Details associate online style editor Justin Fenner

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