...nasa condemned film producers over a viral marketing campaign that suggests the world will come to and end in 2012...
from telegraph: Sony Pictures set up a website for an organisation called the Institute for Human Continuity which predicts a cataclysmic denouement for Earth three years from now.
It suggests that "after two decades of rigorous research from the world's top astronomers, mathematicians, geologists, physicists, engineers, futurists, we know that in 2012 a series of cataclysmic forces will wreak havoc on our planet".
It even details how elections have begun for the leader of the post-2102 world, offers survival kits and asks people to sign up to a lottery to be saved.
In fact, the website is a vehicle for promoting 2012 - a disaster movie about the end of the world based on predictions in the Mayan calendar.
It stars John Cusack and is directed by Roland Emmerich, who was behind the blockbusters Independence Day and The Day After Tomorrow. The film will include scenes of a tsunami washing an aircraft carrier into the White House and Los Angeles falling into the sea.
According to the website scientists have been tracking a previously unknown Planet X which is on the edge of the solar system and on a collision course with Earth.
But the site has been so successful that hundreds of people have been convinced that something terrible is about to befall the planet.
Dr David Morrison, a senior scientist at Nasa's Astrobiology Institute, said he had received more than 1,000 inquiries from worried members of the public.
That included teenagers saying they would rather commit suicide than witness the world end. Dr Morrison said the website was "ethically wrong". But Vikki Luya, Sony's publicity director said: "It is very clear that this site is connected to a fictional movie. This can readily be seen in the logos on the site."