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The Times Rides To The Rescue Of DU

Wizbang is featured in this New York Times article today, Myths Run Wild in Blog Tsunami Debate. They spend a great deal of time analyzing the bizarre conspiracy theories that cropped up at Democratic Underground after the disaster, and spend a fair amount of time trying to salvage the reputation of DU in the case of earthquake and tsunami conspiracy theories.

They mention a Wizbang post that highlights many of the wackiest theories being promulgated at DU about the tsunamis. Since they don't link the Wizbang post they are referring to, I'll provide the necessary reference and link - What Would Life Be Without DU?.

Then they trot out the experts on crackpots...

But the blogosphere's tendency toward crackpot theorizing and political smack down could not be suppressed for long.

"It's so much of what they feed on, so much of what they are," said James Surowiecki, the author of "The Wisdom of Crowds."

...Mr. Surowiecki pointed out that there is nothing new about ill-informed rumor-mongering or other forms of oddness. "There were always cranks," he said. "Rumors have always been fundamental about the way people talk, or think, about politics or complicated issues." Instead of a corner bar or a Barcalounger, however, the location for today's speech is an online medium with a potential audience of millions.

But there is another, more important difference, Mr. Surowiecki and others say. Internet discourse can be self-correcting, with near-instant feedback from readers.

In this case that's were Wizbang and our readers came in....

It wouldn't be a New York Times article without a few dubious assertions and questionable facts. First the questionable facts - They interview Xeni Jardin of BoingBoing and assert that the record at BoingBoing is corrected via comments. At BoingBoing the record is never corrected through comments, since BoingBoing does not have a comment section.

On the dubious assertion front they close with this, "and on Wizbang, the vituperation continued unabated, spreading even to many victims of the disaster," which is really a mis-characterization. Vituperation is, sustained and bitter railing and condemnation, which is not really what you find in the case of our What Would Life Be Without DU? post. What you do find instead of bitter railing is mocking humor and caustic remarks about the sheer stupidity of the DU posts highlighted. There's no "spread" to the victims of the disaster.

Update: The DU'ers aren't impressed either...

Note: There is a different post (out of the many stories at Wizbang about the disaster) where some stupid remarks about victims (and their ability to swim) were posted. When tens of thousands of people a day are given an opportunity to comment in this (mostly) open forum some of them make complete asses of themselves.

Paul Adds When the comments in question were pointed out to me, they were deleted. More context in the update to my post below.


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Comments (17)

www.democraticunderground.c... (Below threshold)
j:

www.democraticunderground.com

The weirdest part of that e... (Below threshold)

The weirdest part of that entire article:

"Still, 62 percent of Americans say they are not sure what the term "blog" means."

It's tough to even grasp that concept.

Isn't it funny that everyon... (Below threshold)
imax:

Isn't it funny that everyone who goes after DU never seems to look at all the good conversations that happen there on a daily basis...
Gee...the right would't be trying to imply that DU posters are dumb now would they...

noooooooo....say it isn't so...

On the dubious assertion... (Below threshold)
Darby:

On the dubious assertion front they close with this, "and on Wizbang, the vituperation continued unabated, spreading even to many victims of the disaster," which is really a mis-characterization. Vituperation is, sustained and bitter railing and condemnation, which is not really what you find in the case of our What Would Life Be Without DU? post. .

I read the article... I didn't see anything like that in it. Perhaps they retracted the statement out of their story?

DarbyI just checke... (Below threshold)

Darby

I just checked and that's still the last line of the story. They should retract it, but I'm not holding my breath.

Gee...the right w... (Below threshold)


Gee...the right would't be trying to imply that DU posters are dumb now would they...

Imply? No.

Assert? Yes.

Demonstrate? Yes.

I read that article in the ... (Below threshold)
pbelz:

I read that article in the NY Times and while they post the address of wizbang they don't do so for the DU - which to me signalls another one of their spineless 'liberal media' tactics (they should have posted the addresses of all web sites mentioned in the article). And honestly I don't know what you all are complaining about when they clearly make the DU seem like crazy conspiracy theorists.... I think you guys got the upper hand in that article so try to keep it in perspective, even though they do accuse you of somehow accusing the victims? What's that about?

*yuck* I don'tlike to dive ... (Below threshold)

*yuck* I don'tlike to dive into the cesspool that is DU too often. I will do it from time to time, just to check, but..... eeeeeeew.

Just out of curiosity, are there any right wing sites that are as obviously whacky and nuts as DU and Kos? It would be interesting to know...

There was plenty of blaming... (Below threshold)

There was plenty of blaming the victim on the comments section of that post, which I assume is what the NYT article is referring to. It was my pleasure to bring it to Wizbang's attention. There were several idiots on that thread, and I copied their drivel and posted it for the record at my blog Your Right Hand Thief.

And, for the record, what I posted was only part of the crap that was on that thread. I brought this to the attention of the Wizbang crew (going OT via the comments, unfortunately) and I was promptly deleted. The second time Paul or Kevin, responded and said he would delete the offensive comments, although, it's interesting that he sometimes finds lefty idiots instructive, while (presumably) righty idiots not so.

Let me also clear up this business about it being an honest question. The same asshat, Matt, who asked "Can they swim?" about the tsunami victims also posted the following, sometimes with variations on his name, but all coming from the same email address.
(Warning: offensive, but since Wizbang is repeatedly giving this questioner the benefit of the doubt, I thought I'd put that to rest):

I agree with matt, it's rediculous that they al died from drowning. GET SOME WATER WINGS OU LOSERS!
Posted by: Steve

CANT THOSE SKINNY LITTLE ASIANS SWIM CHRIST FUCKING GUCS!IM TIRED! SUCK MY DICK ASIAN WHORE!I KILL MORE KITTENS MASTURBATING THEN YOU SHORT QUEERS!RAWR!Ill tap ASIAN MAN ASSHOLE LIKE A KEG RAR BEASTMAN RAWARR!GIVE ME MY NEEDLE CACK BACK NOW FUVK YOU I WANT A BJ WHORe!
Posted by: MATT PALMER "NEEEDLE CACK"BROWN

WHATS SO HARD ABOUT SWIMMING I AGREE WITH STEVEN MY ASSHOLE BUDDY (HE HAS A PUNCTURED ASSHOLELOLS)
BUY SOME WATER WINGS OR HAVE MY MOM BUY THEM CAUSE IM GHETTO GS COME HERE STEVEN AND OPEN WIDE!i STILL WANT A bj ASIAN HOOKERS ILL HAVE MY MOM PAY!

-MATT PALMER "NEEDLE CACK PACKED FUDGE" BROWN
Posted by: SCRAWNY CHINKERTS

ASIAN wHORE i SAid NOW!MOM BRING ME MY DOEIRTARS
Posted by: Im gonna pop your jugualr


Most of these posts had time-stamps within a few minutes of one another, and I'm sure they were all from the same mouthbreather.

A legitimate question? No way.

Nothing could be dumber tha... (Below threshold)
Not a conservative, but a bright human being:

Nothing could be dumber than the collective brain power of the two lazy conservative "parents" who raised Robert. Probably just another bitter gun-toting abusive chickenhawk still waiting for that turd Reagan's tax break (dream on, loser!) and the fat, do-nothing, feminazi, er, garbage, (what is it you right wing wackos are calling your women THIS week?) who stood by and watched her man ruin her dirty brat's life. LOL

Robert, how come it's well known that right wing dickwads are not very bright and/or well educated, and progressives are? You seem rather OBSESSED, dittohole?
This is always too easy......

That part about the ribald ... (Below threshold)
-S-:

That part about the ribald BoingBoing contradictions is priceless, exemplifies to my view just how disturbed is a certain leftwing media and those who are influenced, as they are, by same.

TheNYT can't even verify that information, as you have so easily pointed out as unreasonable, disparate in point, and yet they continue to try to allege some marvel perspective about "This Thing Called 'Blog'" complete with, OMGosh, INSTANT FEEDBACK! COMMENTS!!

It is truly as if publications such as that cannot just get on with life, must continue to belabor reality itself. They are blogs. Visited and read by, mostly, unrelated, uncoordinated individuals. Who ten years ago (mostly, on average) had to sit and read a one-way dictum by distant and unidentifiable sources written several days prior to delivery on newsprint messy with ink. Without recourse for questions and inaccuracies except to take it to break at work later in the day or a pub afterward before home.

And there they are, the old media still attempting to research and discuss the issue without going to the heart of the matter: that they are the problem, not the blogs.

It's a tired medium and TNYT and others are still indulging themselves and avoiding self revelation.

If DU does anyone a service... (Below threshold)
-S-:

If DU does anyone a service, it is that they have provided a place for certain personality types to congregate. Unfortunately, most of them are multiple I.D.s and such from individuals posing as many, and the credibility of the place is lost and mussed by media's assumption that the place is representational.

Message boards, unless closely monitored, as with blogs and comments, are the gathering place of reckless ideas...no accountability and anything goes, and does.

I know for a fact that many DEMOCRATS cannot tolerate the place, so so much for the reputation that DU reflects what 'democrats think.'

If DU started publishing names and addresses with comments, I assure you the place would fall silent.

oyster:I saw most ... (Below threshold)
-S-:

oyster:

I saw most of those same comments pasted all over Yahoo message boards, various, within the same context there (accompanying news about the tsunami).

There really ARE people who just roam around accessible boards and forums and copy and paste and repeat the same, baseless and often utterly irrational stuff. About anything, at any time. Point is, it's not the context that elicits the comments, but the comments that tack themselves on to any context, all over the internet, wherever there's no close monitoring and editing of a site or site feature.

I was laughing a while ago with a friend of mine and speculating that maybe inmates had repeat times online and public terminals were being back-tracked in history and republished just to hack public consciousness. Probably a lot of that going on, is my point.

So, that blows the theory t... (Below threshold)
-S-:

So, that blows the theory that there's any set of general opinions to one degree or another, from one political perspective or another, about the tsunami....the original media source in this context, AHgain, misses the point: it's not that there are political perspectives, for the most part, and conspiracy theories about the TSUNAMI, but that the same conspiracy theorists are reapplying the same theories to yet another historical happening.

And will again.

Solid points, -S-, about ro... (Below threshold)

Solid points, -S-, about roaming idiots spouting off incediary crap. I agree with you.

All the more reason to ignore them. Though several other Wizbang commenters agreed in the main with those filthy sentiments, and amplified them. That disturbed me.

Those comments also being deleted for days was equally troubling, especially after I first brought it to the attention of the Wizbang community.

The reason I highlighted it is because of the "idiots will be published" that quoted a lefty idiot, and viewed his statements as "the perfect icon" for what is wrong with the Left.

That has as much validity as the claim that "Matt" and company being the perfect icon for what is wrong with this site.

Another thing, Wizbang sez:... (Below threshold)

Another thing, Wizbang sez:
"They interview Xeni Jardin of BoingBoing and assert that the record at BoingBoing is corrected via comments. At BoingBoing the record is never corrected through comments, since BoingBoing does not have a comment section."

NYT sez:
"In [Xeni Jardin's] own blog, she said... and correct the record through comments." This seems to distinguish Boing Boing from a personal blog of Jardin's, presumably with comments.

oyster: what you just wrot... (Below threshold)
-S-:

oyster: what you just wrote as to the BoingBoing Issue seems proven rather than contradicted...TNYT couches their point by noting (at least alluding to) (delicately, in my opinion) that BoingBoing isn't a blog (no definition offered, however, left to the reader's imagination, I assume).

BoingBoing, Wonkette and others aren't even blogs, they aren't even individual websites, but sites created by one organization, posing as being authored by individuals independently...err, rather, there's one organization that employs the people who author those sites (and others) but the sites don't make that clear and, rather and instead, continue to pose those sites among the "blog" community, present them as being within the "blog" genre.

They aren't. They're commercially funded and created sites to appear to be content authored by respective individuals per site. But aren't.

I don't have a problem with commercial sites, receiving money to write and create content, use of the internet within certain guidelines, not at all, but I do have a problem with the format and genre of 'blogging' being so manipulated as does BoingBoing, Wonkette and others in that one group alone created by and funded by one business entity, as are others by others.

TNYT article appears to have been written very badly. They continue to muddy the waters of internet publishing, and I think I can take a good guess as to why.




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