Tuesday 21 July 2009

Facebook terror continues

The Mail's latest example of Facebook signalling the end of the world is a party that turned into a 'riot'. They aren't the only ones who covered it - Google News shows the Guardian, Mirror, BBC, PA, Scotsman and Telegraph did too.

But the presentation of the Mail's story deserves comment. For one thing they claim there were '150 unwanted guests' which - added to the wanted ones, suggests a far larger gathering than Hampshire Police who said it was 100. Indeed, the police claim 30 people were involved in anti-social behaviour and not all 150 as the Mail implies.

The party was organised by two neighbours - 17 year old Jordan Wright and 15 year old Seva Nurueva. Here's the Mail's third sentence:
But far from regretting the damage and disturbance caused by the party, one of the teenage organisers said: 'It was wicked.'
Which may well be accurate, but is it the whole story? The Mail goes on to quote a concerned neighbour and Ms Nurueva's dad, who expresses his outrage. But why do they not quote Seva herself?

Because in both the BBC and Guardian versions, she says:
'We are really sorry for all the damage we caused. It was scary - I did not really know what to do. All I did was cry.'
But because the Mail wants to portray all kids as feral and out of control, it chooses to ignore her apology and regret, and instead focus on the other idiot. Because young people, with their Facebook, are sure to get Mail readers in a tizzy.

So much so, that one commentator on the Mail story writes:
Time to get rid of the internet. It's far to dangerous. We survived long before it was around and will long after it's gone.
- sub, london, 20/7/2009 11:55
Surely, surely that's a joke?

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