Whiteboard girl “hoaxed” the Internet hard, apparently

August 12, 2010 § Leave a comment

A bit of reporting from the BBC about the whiteboard girl stunt which turned out to be fake.

As soon as I read this story I felt it missed the point. What’s important wasn’t whether the stunt was true or not; it was funny. Arguably, it was the news outlets that got duped, reporting this nonsense obviously without doing any kind of basic fact checking. The Internet? Was the Internet “duped”? The Internet doesn’t care. And amusingly, The Chive understood this. “Jenny” resurfaced Wednesday, infamous whiteboard in hand, with her last words:

Ultimately the article elucidates two points, both pretty unfortunate for mainstream journalism:

  1. Some mainstream media outlets, who actually have the resources and manpower to professionally cover all sorts of news stories, sometimes have worse journalistic standards than the average Internet blog run by a community of voluntary writers; and that
  2. The mainstream media, even the BBC, still don’t have a real understanding of the Internet or its culture.

(A big thank you to the reddit community; I’m glad I wasn’t alone in thinking this.)

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