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“Got kitesurfing on the mind, mixed with some search & classification tech, and a dab of political ranting”

Tribe & NBC…but what if they were wrong?

Posted by direwolff on July 8, 2006

So first the story breaks on Valleywag that Tribe is going to be acquired by NBC. A few days later, Susan Mernit posts to her blog that she has the equivalent of a “reliable source”, or in her words “A source who cannot be named, but who is truly in the know, confirmed the deal for me today”, supporting this story. Now by journalistic standards, such stories generally require two sources to confirm their authenticity, but here we have self proclaimed qualifiers suggesting this story is true and happening with no sources named and no supportable evidence provided. Sounds a little like tabloid journalism. Ultimately, the proof is in the pudding, but what if this story isn’t true? Shouldn’t both Valleywag and Susan Mernit loose some of their “cred” balance? Afterall, in this world of any one being able to make unsubstantiated comments about a person or a company, there should be a way to reward good information and a way to discourage the continuation of bad information.

Having already read stories that appeared in paidcontent.org that were clearly not true (only know about these because of my involvement in the transactions mentioned), there needs to be a way to begin rating the historical accuracy of bloggers’ posts to at least enable readers to weigh the likelihood that the blog posts they read are actually true. Perhaps call it something like “Digg for truth“.

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2 Responses to “Tribe & NBC…but what if they were wrong?”

  1. Why do you think this story is not true when both Rafat and I spoke to impeccable sources? Just because NBC doesn’t plan to announce for a while, that doesn’t mean there is no deal.

  2. p-air said

    Truth, sadly, is a relative term and in the case of journalism, has required two independent sources confirm any story. There is a reason for this, but it does seem to have grown lax in the blogosphere and it concerns me a great deal.

    Now bringing Rafat as evidence of credibility doesn’t play well considering his Feb. 24 titled “Tribe.net Bags Another $3 Million” was presented as current news when it had in effect occurred a mere 11 months earlier. As well, some so-called inside info he provided on the Friendster failed transaction with Viacom and others back in Dec. 2005 was also incorrect. The issue here is that readers are getting these versions of unsubstantiated truths with no sources and no referenceable evidence, hence I’d submit that this can play as rumor or gossip, but it definitely should remain in the realm of tabloid news until it can be independently verified.

    The question for you is, why would any one (me in this case) think that this transaction is not likely to happen? Hmmm…

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