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IN Daily Adelaide's independent news
Adelaide media sucked in by urban myth
15 April 2016
In this week's column, some local media fall hook, line and sinker for an urban myth, an experienced ABC journalist jumps to PR, digital disruption, the State Government takes a new approach to media releases, and much more.
Colour me unhappy
A shocking story appeared on the TV news on Wednesday night, with Seven reporting “exclusively” that a dognapping ring was operating in the north-eastern suburbs of Adelaide.
The evil band’s modus operandi, Seven reported, was to mark homes with pink paint, before returning to take the home owner’s pet to use as fodder in illegal dog-fights.
The story was chased by numerous other outlets, but the trouble for reporters was that there was no evidence that the original story was true despite the fears of locals. In fact, as early as Wednesday afternoon the SA Police said as much, and an engineering firm warned that pink markings on curbs and footpaths most likely related to underground services – nothing to do with a 101 Dalmations style heist.
As is often the way these days, once the story was out there, others felt compelled to follow, with ABC 891 and The Advertiser, among others, jumping on board (a later Tiser post questioned whether the pink marks were a hoax).
However, a few minutes on Google – and some common sense – would tell you that this is an old urban myth.
The RSPCA tells Media Week that the scare – or a version of it – comes up from time to time. Last year, for example, people in one Adelaide suburb feared that mysterious chalk marks were related to impending dognapping. It wasn’t true.
The urban myth website, Snopes, records this tale in their archive, tracing it back to stories doing the rounds in Perth in 2013.
We’ve found different versions reported all over the place – in a UK paper, and in Queensland. It appears none of the stories were true, just different versions of the same urban myth. Nevertheless, Seven returned to the story last night, with interviews with several people whose dogs have gone missing.
No doubt people should be careful with their rare and valuable dogs, and the RSPCA has fears – so far unproven – about possible dogfighting rackets operating locally, but the “pink paint” angle appears to be a furphy.
A day after yesterday's "biggest quake since 2011's tsunami," at 1:25 local time, Japan was just struck with a massive aftershock in the form of a Magnitude 7.0 earthquake, which means it was roughly 10 times stronger than yesterday's tremor:
The earthquake was centered just southeast of Kumamoto. It struck about at a shallow depth of 10 kilometers. A tsunami advisory has been issued for coastal areas. Kumamoto is the capital city of Kumamoto Prefecture on the island of Kyushu, Japan. As of March 1, 2010, the city has an estimated population of 731,286 and a population density of 1,880 persons per km2
"A day after yesterday's "biggest quake since 2011's tsunami," at 1:25 local time, Japan was just struck with a massive aftershock in the form of a Magnitude 7.0 earthquake"
Good morning Sys,
We just started getting NHK World television channel from Tokyo here in Washington state (PBS station). I saw the news on that channel yesterday. At first I thought they were running a repeat but realized a new one hit. Up here on the Puget Sound we get tremors but nothing like that, yet.
According to a document obtained by journalist Lee Fang, In-Q-Tel is funding companies that monitor, collect, and analyze social media traffic and activities on platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. The investments were previously undisclosed.
For instance, Fang points to PATHAR, a social media intelligence company whose product, Dunami, is already being used by the FBI to "mine Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other social media to determine networks of association, centers of influence and potential signs of radicalization," as confirmed last month by the Center for Investigative Reporting.
Another firm in In-Q-Tel's portfolio is Dataminr, which "directly licenses a stream of data from Twitter to visualize and quickly spot trends on behalf of law enforcement agencies and hedge funds, among other clients," Fang writes.
Geofeedia, also on In-Q-Tel's list, "promotes its research into Greenpeace activists, student demonstrations, minimum wage advocates, and other political movements," Fang reports. "Police departments in Oakland, Chicago, Detroit, and other major municipalities have contracted with Geofeedia, as well as private firms such as the Mall of America and McDonald's."
« Last Edit: Apr 16th, 2016, 11:40pm by Sys_Config »