You may have seen the blog furore about the blog palaver whereby a blog purporting to be dispatches from the frontline by a Syrian lesbian was exposed to have been penned by a 40 year old married postgrad student in Edinburgh. I was asked by C4 News to pen a small post about it all while I was there today so I said:
One of the by-products of the unmasking today of Damascusgaygirl today was that it got little old me interviewed on Channel 4 News by broadcasting legend Jon Snow.
What are the implications of the affair? Jon asked if bloggers should adopt the same journalistic standards as the press. Granted there is a Press Complaints Commission but let’s not kid ourselves that the print media have always been paragons of veracity. Only this week a Sunday Times hackette had to issue a grovelling apology to John Prescott as she’d made up a quote from him allegedly professing his dis-satisfaction with Labour leader Ed Miliband. The climbdown occurred after Prescott tweeted this to 60,000 followers – an example of old mainstream media being held to account by the twittersphere.
It wasn’t the first time and won’t be the last that this type of digital impersonation happens but if people treat what they read on t’interweb with a greater degree of caution rather than swallowing it wholesale then it should have some positive effect.
Watch it with a clip of me here.
Anyway the point that I should’ve made if I’d been thinking more straight under the glare of the bright lights in the studio was that on the web no-one has the last word. McWhassisFace will get his come-uppence as those who live by the blog die by the blog. This stuff will on online forever. He will never live this down as he will be incarcerated by his digital footprint (if that’s not too many mixed metaphors for you).
For bloggers to (re)gain trust/credibility they should cite sources, be truthful, take part in the offline real life community events that networks of blogs can generate. Talking of which, back to marking….
PS Good to see approving comments from presenter Samira Ahmed on her twitterfeed. Shocking to hear that she is leaving the station after they told her to get her unruly locks in order – really. C4’s loss is the BBC’s gain.