The Yes Men is a group of culture jamming activists who practice ‘Identity Correction’. They state that ‘unlike identity theft, where a criminal uses your identity in order to steal something, we thought, “We’re going to target the biggest criminals and we're going to steal their identity to make them more honest”’.* The strategies used by The Yes Men, such as parody, satire, interventions, hacktivism and tactical obfuscation, share similar traits, in that they all employ elements of grassroots protest to give ‘everyman’ a voice, so that those without power find a means to speak up for themselves. The Yes Men employ such forms of tactical media to fight an imbalance of power, by manipulating commercial and political distributing modes against themselves and against the monopoly held by corporate ideology. Through their fake websites, similar to the websites of public personalities and entities, and real-life performances, The Yes Men expose the true nature of those who hold power.
Previous projects by The Yes Men include a website produced to mimic George W. Bush’s official campaign website for the 2000 US election. The incident was not widely reported until Bush became so enraged by the forged website that, at a press conference, when asked about it, he announced, ‘there should be limits to freedom’. The Yes Men have also acted as ‘spokespeople’ for The World Trade Organization (WTO), McDonald’s, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, Dow Chemicals, as well as appearing on conference panels, television shows and symposia. Their latest target was the 2007 Gas and Oil Exposition in Calgary, Alberta, where The Yes Men impersonated industry officials and announced a plan to turn human flesh into fuel. Their feature film, The Yes Men (2004) documents the group’s experiences impersonating the WTO.
*'Entertainment Weekly', September 29, 2004