“RIP Gordon Lightfoot.” Or not.

by DaniGirl on February 27, 2010 · 7 comments

in How I love the Interwebs

Surely you heard the twitter-storm that turned into a media frenzy last week, about the wildly exaggerated rumours of the death of Gordon Lightfoot. But did you know it was an Ottawa woman and mom of two, nothing more nefarious than a biologist, who was the catalyst for the rumour? Read the full story from her perspective in this Globe and Mail article. Best line in the whole piece? “Thankfully, Gordon Lightfoot didn’t believe the radio, or he wouldn’t have made it to his dentist appointment.” *snicker*

I’m just glad I wasn’t the most infamous person on the interwebs last week — for a while there, it was beginning to feel that way!

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 alison February 27, 2010 at 10:47 am

She should be blogging. She writes wonderfully. What a mountain out of a molehill. I’d have hit the wine bottle too.

2 Theryn February 27, 2010 at 2:35 pm

At least she got a funny essay out of it πŸ™‚ Did you notice her name? (!)

3 DaniGirl February 27, 2010 at 2:36 pm

I did, matter of fact. πŸ˜‰ Could the world be that small?

4 Theryn February 27, 2010 at 3:58 pm

I think it was weird coincidences week and someone forgot to tell me.

5 Annika February 28, 2010 at 8:45 am

Saw her piece in the Globe a few days ago. Well written, but it’s hard to feel sorry for someone who jumped to conclusions, stood on a mountain and shouted out to the masses.

Dani, don’t compare what happened on your blog last week to the Lightfoot debacle…inspiring academic debate and critical discussion on social media is something to be proud of.

6 DaniGirl February 28, 2010 at 10:45 am

Thanks Annika — but do you really think she did anything wrong? A friend pointed out the comments on the G&M article and people were eviscerating this poor woman, and I was shocked to see the reaction. I have a hard time finding anything for which she should be blamed. She had some info that she tweeted to friends — much like I do a dozen or so times a day. She didn’t go to any particular lengths to propagate the information beyond a simple 3 word tweet to about 100 people. And quite frankly, if we’re expected to fact-check everything we put on twitter — or even on the blog! — I think social media as a whole will just dry up.

Another interesting social media case study!

7 Annika February 28, 2010 at 1:22 pm

In re-reading my comments, I can see that I was rather harsh. I do realize that this lady in no way intended to spread false information and I wish her no ill will (which I should have stated earlier).

My beef is in how we sometimes use social media, which (as you have so appropriately pointed out recently) is still a relatively new form of communication with few – if any – rules. I also use sites like Facebook and Twitter, but I just wish people would exercise more caution.

All of this information can potentially become public communication at any point, and we have very little privacy once we have posted something (even if we assume that only our family and friends are consuming it). You and I both know that the “Communications 101” warning is not to put anything into print that you wouldn’t want to see splashed across the front page of the Globe and Mail.

Yes, I agree, another valuable case study! You really are going to have to start teaching social media one of these days. I hope it’s on your life “to-do” list. =)

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