Stormtroopers
Article
0 comment

Twitter betrays You

Today, over at BetaNews, my colleague Mark Wilson asks:
Twitter may be within its rights to block ISIS beheading content, but is it right?” The social service did more—suspending accounts for some users who shared the gruesome video depicting the slaughter of front-line journalist James Foley, who was held in captivity for about two years. Mark writes:

Twitter has a responsibility to allow events to unfold without intervention. The sheer number of people using the site means that it is possible to get a fairly balanced view of what is going on in the world—do a little research and you should be able to find supporters of every side of just about any story or argument. But for this to work, censorship just cannot happen.

I agree but see far darker implications with respect to news reporting. [Read more]

bankrupt of originality
Article
7 comments

Aggregation is Plagiarism

On March 15, 2011, I started the post you now read with a headline left unanswered: “Is Aggregation Really Just Plagiarism?” Clearly, my answer—too long coming—is “Yes”. Unequivocally, news aggregation is plain, pure plagiarism.

Google enables, no encourages, content thieves, despite recent search engine penalizing strategies. Too often, the big G raps sites because of links to black-listed blogs. The problem is bigger: Mainstream blogs writing synopsis stories that include absolutely no original reporting but take away pageviews from the news site doing the real work.[Read more]

Trains Collide
Article
0 comment

When Media Values Collide

Overnight, I came out against my colleague’s story “New Mozilla CEO is allegedly anti-gay marriage—Firefox developers boycott” . Had I been editor on duty, the story wouldn’t have run, not because of the topic but the sourcing. However, response to the post—820 comments as I write—raises an interesting quandary about the cultural clash between old and new media.

Reader response is explosive, and comments are much more interesting reading than the story (no offense to buddy Brian Fagioli). Commenters largely fall into two opposing camps—those complaining about societal constraints on free speech and others disgusted by Mozilla’s CEO being allegedly anti-gay marriage.  The polarized ends, and even some discussion between them, is fascinating snapshot about freedom, community, and human rights—one person’s personal versus those of the larger group.[Read more]

Sochi Olympics
Article
0 comment

Mob Journalism shouldn’t take away an Olympic Gold Medal

As I write, 1.7 million people have signed a Change.org petition to: “Open investigation into judging decisions of Women’s Figure Skating and demand rejudgement at the Sochi Olympics”. The signatories and the news media’s response to them is classic example of “Mob Journalism”, a term first used on this blog in April 2010.

I coined Mob Journalism, or thought so four years ago, to define a populist response that is a social media byproduct. Services like Change.org, Facebook, Twitter, and others with online reach, enable the mob (referring to the masses not the mafia) to have a much louder voice. That’s quickly, too, unlike letter-writing campaigns used by protesters of earlier eras. Rapid response benefits societies, as explained in June 2009 analysis “Iran and the Internet Democracy“. The news media’s response is another matter.[Read more]