Sunday, 18 March 2012

MailOnline doesn't do research, falls for Twitter joke

Mail editor-in-chief Paul Dacre told the Leveson Inquiry on 6 February:

I'm very proud of the Mail's evolving and clearly everything can improve, but I think to come from a cold start to being the world's number newspaper internet site is an achievement that British journalism should be proud of.

Yesterday, at 12:56pm, Carol Vorderman tweeted:

Someone at Mail HQ clearly thought this was a great story, and within six hours, an article appeared under the byline of Daily Mail Reporter:

You'll be all at sea, Carol! Vorderman unveils her new yacht... although it's hardly the right weather for sailing

She's made a name for herself as a TV star with plenty of brains behind her beauty.

But perhaps Carol Vorderman wasn't quite with it when she decided to rent a huge yacht.

The 51-year-old posted a picture of the large vessel to her Twitter page, proudly announcing it was moored at the Bristol docks.

However, it's hardly the weather for a sun-drenched cruise across the bay.

In fact, it's pretty miserable across the British Isles with rain and grey skies dominating this weekend.

That won't put Carol off though, the former Countdown presenter always seem to be of a sunny disposition.

In those six hours, it appears Daily Mail Reporter didn't do any research about this yacht. If they had, they might have found local news reports about its arrival in Bristol on 13 March, and that it is set to be delivered to its new owner in the Mediterranean later this week. It's not being 'hired for the season' by Vorderman or anyone else.

A few hours later, Vorderman tweeted again:

The Mail has a little bit of form on this: it fell for a spoof Steve Jobs twitter account in 2010, and last year used a joke tweet by Jeremy Vine as the basis for a serious article about the BBC attacking Christianity.

Meanwhile, in other Vorderman 'news', the Sun has published the words of Sam Amos, a 'psychic' who has done, err, 'rumpology' readings of Vorderman's bum.

(Hat-tip to James)

UPDATE: MailOnline deleted the article on Monday. 

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