Thursday, March 06, 2008

Struggling to Squelch an Internet Rumor

This article discusses the new internet reality of dealing with false rumours. I think this might be the only remaining reason for "news organizations" to have value - they have fact-checkers and we are trusting this organizations "bona fides" in disseminating fact not fiction.
“I understand quite well the power of the Internet. Information flows instantaneously without respect to somewhat arbitrary borders of geography or nation state. That’s a positive. The flip side of that power — [is] the negative impact of an unfounded rumor that flows across a world seemingly without check."

“You can’t put the genie back in the bottle,” he continued. “It’s Kafkaesque. Just when you think you’ve tamped it down, it shows up on another Listserv.”
Then we have the problem of writer fraud, which blew up again last week under the pseudonym Margaret B. Jones [no relation] repeating the Oprah/James Frey controversy of 2006. The only question I have is how gullible are book publishers to fork out six-figure advances without without verifying the material?

A Canadian contribution to this infamous list was Archibald Belaney (aka Grey Owl) which was released as a feature film in 1999 starring british actor Pierce Brosnan.

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