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Update: She's A Flight Risk

So, I've made up my mind ...

Last week when I discovered this story, I felt that this could be true. Somewhere, I think we all would like it to be true and for Isa to be safe and have a nice happy ending and for the sun to set and for the world to be a better place.

As of today, I am no longer drinking the Cool Aid. I was doing my best to give this story the benefit of the doubt, but now I must confess that I believe that the story is just that. A story. A good piece of fiction.

I've really enjoyed reading the back-and-forth between the community at the Immersive Lounge and isa. Along with conversations with a few people who have much more technical talent than I ever will, several of the points made there helped me make my decision.

Then the poster on the flightrisk blog called "anonymous coward, esq" provided me with the tipping point.

The more posts I read by "anonymous coward, esq.," the more I feel that he/she and perhaps a couple other posters are frauds. Better yet, "anonymous coward" is planting information in the blog in an attempt to legitimize this story and keep people interested. A textbook example of good online guerilla marketing.

Even if some/all of what he/she has posted is true, all it is doing is trying to provide 3rd party validation of a base storyline that is fictitious.

One-time rising star reporter, Stephen Glass, who was fired from The New Republic in 1998 has written a novel about his life called "The Fabulist." In an interview, he said the following:

"I would tell a story, and there would be fact A, which maybe was true. And then there would be fact B, which was sort of partially true and partially fabricated. And there would be fact C which was more fabricated and almost not true. And there would be fact D, which was a complete whopper. And totally not true. And so people would be with me on these stories through fact A and through fact B. And so they would believe me to C. And then at D they were still believing me through the story."

Thatís exactly what I think is going on here.

Identity, credibility and the veracity of information are all easily blurred by the Internet. Thatís part of its power, and the author of this story is acutely aware of that power and is manipulating it in an incredibly interesting way.

And thatís why Iíll keep reading it.

Thursday, May 15, 2003   permalink to archived copy   del.icio.us   DiggIt  

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