Thursday, March 16, 2006

A Bird In the Hand Is Worthless

Just an hour or so ago I read about a prank in which a 15 year old submitted a fake Google press release that claimed he was the youngest Google employee...and the press release got picked up.

Ironically, just moments ago I came across this post at Between Thought and Expression. Of course, Will Ferrell's not dead, despite the press release that circulated which said otherwise.

This isn't the first time I've seen a fake press release about a famous person's death. I remember seeing one last year about Rick Moranis dying in a "freak train accident" in which he was mamed by an oncoming train. This one was a "freak paragliding accident". Frankly, the odds of anyone dying in a "freak accident" are fairly low, and the odds of said person being a high profile celebrity instead of a regular person are even lower.

This sort of incident certainly questions the crediblity of news feeds like Google News. How can you trust a press release when any regular Joe can write a fake one up. Perhaps the thing to do is get rid of free press release distribution sites like I-Newswire (which is where both of these fake press releases originated) or at the very least create a situation where only trusted sources can submit press releases.

1 Comments:

Blogger camelpost said...

Just because one fool peed in the beach, you do not stop taking bath in the sea. Its sad that a mad youngster misused free press release and has discredited i-newswire. Google is playing big daddy and black listing i-newswire. If the youngster had written that he was hired by Doogle Corporation in Rajasthan as Security Expert would any one have bothered to verify? If the mad cap wrote that Rajesh Bachan died dancing to a holi song in Bollywood would anyone have bothered? Today society is mature enough to know what to believe what not to believe, whom to believe and whom not to believe, when to belive and when not to beieve, where to believe and where not to believe.
Let Google and the net community wake up to realities and not talk of non existent values in journalism etc.

9:41 PM  

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