Thursday, May 25, 2006

Blogging About Hoaxes

Recently (like in the past year plus since I started blogging) I've seen quite a few times where a story hits the wires, Bloggers jump on it, hours or days later it turns out to be a hoax.
The Little Red Book story: A college student was investigated by the Department of Homeland Security for requesting Mao Zedong's Little Red Book on interlibrary loan. The story traveled around the world. The student later admitted it was a little red lie.

The Toy Doll, Hostage of Terrorists was a good one that didn't last long. An Islamic militant website posted a picture of a soldier being held at gunpoint. This had people going for a while until a spokesman for Dragon Models USA Inc. showed it was one of their Cody dolls.

CBS had their fake National Guard memos. More recently these was the Iran/Jews/Yellow Ribbon news that went through a couple cycles before being knocked down. The Jessie MacBeth Video story has caused many Mea Culpas from bloggers who ran with it. It was of a supposed U.S. Army Ranger and Iraq War Veteran that claimed he murdered indiscriminately in Iran. (see previous post)

Now we have an ABC News story that broke yesterday that says: WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Dennis Hastert, is under investigation by the FBI, which is probing corruption in Congress, ABC News reported on Wednesday. - It was debunked shortly after it broke.

What gets me is the ABC news page is still up without an update or link showing the story to be false. - Anyone passing by while websurfing could see the story and not realize it is false. - Then take it home and blog with it. - Making them appear to be the fool.

I always hated seeing news stories with "Alleged" or "Suspected" when they have a picture of the guy with his hand in the cookie jar. - Now I understand why. - Stories can change midstream.

We have a story of a woman who was offered money for her baby by a couple of women. She allegedly turned them down and the couple of women are now suspected of stealing the baby from her.

I feel there is more to this story than the dribble of news we have so far. But if I post my real thoughts I might be subject to a lawsuit so...

The main point of this post is to tell other bloggers to be careful out there. Even the big boys get fooled. If you do post on a story that turns out to be bogus then update on the original post and maybe even write a separate "I'm Sorry" posting. Being transparent in your humanity will only cause people to trust you and your blog even more.

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