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Odd Behavior?



Gary Suson, a.k.a Gary Marlon Suson, a.k.a Marlon Suson, founder of the Ground Zero Museum Workshop in the Meatpacking district and the 9/11 website SeptemberEleven.net, is no different than many other people who have found themselves suddenly thrust into the role of being a limited public figure: his behavior can focus unwanted attention upon himself. With the ever-widening scope of the internet, and its endless multitude of databases, communications that are made in haste can often come back to haunt. A simple Google search of Gary Suson brings up some surprising results. Odd behavior by Suson? Well, that's up to you, the reader, to decide.
 

Gary Suson


Gary Suson vs. Trip Advisor Round 2



A common "bone of contention" between Gary Suson and many of the members of the message board on Trip Advisor are the reviews posted by Trip Advisor "members." Many Trip Advisor members have not minced their words... they believe that many of the reviews are phony, or simply put: faked.

It's unfortunate, but TripAdvisor has a policy of removing contrary posts, however, Suson's scathing reply to a poster named "Alice" was copied and sent to us, and the 2nd sentence illustrates his anger over these on-going complaints registered by TripAdvisor members over the reviews:


"groundzeromuseum...
new york city
2 forum posts32. Re: Ground Zero Museum & workshop review July 2009
Aug 08, 2009 8:39 PM

Hi Alice,

I see you are up to your old tricks again. I figured it'd be about 2 weeks til' you resurfaced with your cronies."



While we make no judgment as to the veracity and/or legitimacy of the reviews, we decided to investigate these claims made by many Trip Advisor members. The results, at very least, are quite provocative.

A common problem with forum message boards has been their inherent nature: they are intended to offer the user a forum on which to voice their opinions. Unfortunately, this often leads to disagreements among users, and worse, the attempt by some to use these boards to sway opinion, often for their own personal gain. In this pursuit, as the subject of this page has been accused of, many have been known to create multiple accounts and post with these accounts in order to give the appearance to the casual reader that their opinion is widely shared.

One of the methods developed to vet new user registration accounts has proven itself to work well: e-mail verification.

Using this process, after signing up, the new registrant is sent a confirmation e-mail with an embedded "link" the he/she must click in order to verify their account before they are allowed to post an opinion. While far from a certain method of verification, the process assures that the registrant in question, at very least, has a valid e-mail account, and thus, the likelihood that they are a real person and not an "invented secondary screen name," is considered to be somewhat greater.



The Investigation



We began by testing Trip Advisor's member verification process. What method did they use, and what was their vetting process before allowing new registrants to post?

Our results: there are none.

 

You have not misread that. Read it again: there are NONE.

Our tester created a user named "gmarlon" using a fictitious and non-existent e-mail address, and an imaginary location for our character (new york). To our surprise, the tester was able to post on the Trip Advisor forum immediately:


This is a screenshot of the first post on Trip Advisor


This was surprising, but not nearly as surprising as the next test.

We wanted to see if this was some anomaly, or one-time error. Surely the tester wouldn't be able to register another fictitious account and post again, would he?

To our amazement, without even having to shut down the browser, the tester was able to click "Sign out" (it's in the right-hand corner at the top of every page, when you're logged in), followed by "Register Now!" and after filling in another fictitious and non-existent e-mail address and imaginary location for his character (it was decided that he should be near his similarly named friend: in new york), "gmarlon2" was created, and the tester was able to post on the very same thread immediately, once again:


This is a screenshot of the second post on Trip Advisor


Conclusion: You can seemingly post opinions all day long on Trip Advisor using an unlimited number of aliases and imaginary e-mail accounts.


So, we moved on. At the time of this writing, there were a total of 107 reviews posted by members claiming to have taken the Ground Zero Museum Workshop tour. It's reasonable to expect that a good percentage of those who actually took the tour and then took the time to post would be first time Trip Advisor posters. In discussing what might be a normal percentage, we decided to set the bar high: we felt that as many as 25% of those who posted reviews might be first-time, or just one(1) time posters. Once again, we were quite surprised by our findings:

Of the 107 posted reviews, 51 were posted by one-time (1) posters.

Read it again: 51 out of 107 (nearly half) were not just first-time posters, they were one and only time posters!

And reading these posts raised many red-flags. While it seems reasonable to expect that many of these one-time posts would be brief, perhaps just a few sentences or single paragraph, the majority are long narratives written in the style of a tour guide, with excessive information, and worse, reoccurring themes.
We saw one theme used so often that we decided to track its use in the posts:

The literal attempt to excuse the Ground Zero Museum Workshop's small size.

To be fair, we tracked only actual references to the museums "small" size. We excluded another theme: the term "intimate."

To our utter shock, of the 107 reviews, 62 attempted to minimize the shortcomings of the museum's size and many did so from the onset of their post.

Once again, this is no typo: 62 (more than half)

If we include the references to the museum's size made by referring to its "intimacy" our number jumps to well over 70 (nearly 2/3rds).

And the similarities in these posts are glaring:

"During a recent family trip to New York City, we made reservations to visit the Ground Zero Museum Workshop that my sister had found on-line. Upon arriving at the small 2nd floor workshop, I was immediately turned off by the single room that the entire museum was placed in. To boot, it was quite warm and I was not looking forward to spending time in the small confined space sweating like crazy.

Let me say that I was blown away by the presentation and content that the workshop had to provide. After a brief movie introduction and talk by one of the very friendly docents, we were left to roam through each display at our own pace, utilizing the audio device to get specific information about the items that were being presented.

This museum is the work of one Gary Marlon Suson who was the only person allowed into the depths of the great pit where once stood the twin towers, to be the official photographer of what had taken place. With pictures and specific artifacts that were recovered, Mr. Suson takes you on a personal tour of each of the pieces, providing you with a story for each and every item. Some stories are longer, and some short, but ALL of them will blow your mind. I can even say that on multiple occasions I teared up from what I was privileged to be viewing.

This place is a MUST SEE for anyone visiting New York and looking to see a realistic tour of what took place on September 11, 2001. We visited one other museum dedicated to the horrific 9/11 experience and while it was moving, nothing compared to what we saw at the Ground Zero Museum Workshop. I wholeheartedly recommend it! You will not be sorry!

One final note, as we were leaving we were privileged to meet Gary Suson and he was quite humbled and very grateful for everyone that can share in what he personally experienced during his time."



Note the same references in the next post:


"i had my first visit to this museum today. gary marlon suson really got it right. as the official photographer for the 9/11 recovery he set up this small but powerful museum of very moving photos and actual remnants from the site. if you want to experience the emotion behind the recovery efforts then this is where you want to go. i don't think anyone could leave this museum unchanged. what a respectful tribute to both the victims of the attack as well as those who put their heart and soul into finding them."


It should be noted: after completing our investigation, one of our researchers noticed something odd about the name used by the last poster:

This is the image taken of the poster Fay K

Fay K. An anagram for fake? Could someone be getting away with this so easily that they decided to use an "in your face" reference to their critics?

This too, is a matter for you, the reader, to decide.


Read all the reviews: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60763-d626630-Reviews-Ground_Zero_Museum_Workshop-New_York_City_New_York.html


Next- Odd behavior on My Space? -->



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