|Type of site||Former satirical website|
|Owner||Chris Ellerby/Joseph Mallett|
|Created by||Chris Ellerby/Joseph Mallett|
ManBeef.com was an elaborate hoax site beginning in January 2001, news of which spread primarily by means of e-mail forwarding. The site purported to sell human meat, and even offered tips and recipes on preparing meals. Colorful pictures and illustrations adorned the site to further the appearance of legitimacy. Like Bonsai Kitten, many individuals fell for the hoax and were disgusted. E-mails circulating would often be in the form of petitions pushing to stop the immorality.
To avoid exposing the hoax, ManBeef claimed they did not allow customers to purchase meat products from the site itself. "We do this, because we prefer to deal with our customers on a more personal basis," the disclaimer stated in part. The only products actually available to purchase were souvenir merchandise such as mousepads, mugs and t-shirts.
At its peak, the site received about 500,000 hits daily. It was causing so much controversy that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) launched an investigation, and found no wrongdoing because there was no evidence of human meat actually being sold. In June 2001, the creators of the site, Chris Ellerby and Joseph Mallett, who used the combined pseudonym "Joseph Christopherson", declared that the site was indeed a hoax, and in July, issued a statement to The Columbian stating the purpose of the site was to "outrage the more sensitive viewers".
In 2005, the registration for the ManBeef.com domain name expired and was quickly snapped up by a pornography-themed cybersquatter. As of December 2010[update], the name still exists in this state. As of August, 2011 the site is now a domain parking page. As of June 18, 2014 the website is still a parked domain for sale at >= 10,000.
KittyBeef.com and PuppyBeef.com (now defunct) were similar hoax sites that claimed to sell cat and dog meat. They used the ManBeef site as a template, though cat meat and dog meat are in fact readily consumed in parts of the world.
- "Manbeef.com". Hoaxipedia. Alex Boese. 2008. Retrieved 1 September 2009.
- "Yes, We Have No Manbeef". Urban Legends. About.com. Retrieved 1 September 2009.
- "Where's the ManBeef?". Snopes.com. Barbara and David P. Mikkelson. 10 January 2009. Retrieved 1 September 2009.
- "Human Flesh For Sale For Cooking at Manbeef.com-Fiction!". TruthOrFiction.com. Retrieved 1 September 2009.
- "Kitty Beef". PETA blog. 25 July 2007. Retrieved 28 August 2014. "We’ve been getting a lot of calls from people asking what we’re going to do about some new websites that are being passed around, called KittyBeef.com and PuppyBeef.com, which are purporting to sell prime cuts from kittens and puppies at discount prices. Well, the simple answer is … we’re not really going to do all that much about it at all. In fact, I kind of wish we’d thought of the idea ourselves."