The Fail completely making stuff up is hardly news, really.
This is interesting, however, because it's in line with the tabloid's morbid obsession with Facebook. I'm not the biggest fan of it myself, but the tone adopted by Britain's worst tabloid each time the obscure, evil, conspiratorial thing called 'the cybernet' is mentioned is just the stuff of legends.
Seriously. In the space of a few months, the Daily Mail - the paper claiming to be Britain's moral bearer - has published the following crap:
- Facebook can give you cancer, "a doctor claims".
- Facebook can harm children's brain (probably, but no less than reading the Daily Mail would).
- Facebook is at the root of suicide and bullying. Because neither existed before, of course.
- Facebook is to blame for friendship addiction amongst women (WTF?)
Plus of course, loads of stories about paedos, cheating, knifing, killing, BO, you name it. All of them, naturally, to be blamed on Facebook.
Today the Daily Mail had to publicly apologise for reporting that "a criminologist posing as a teenage girl on Facebook was inundated with contacts from men seeking sexual favours". As the Independent reports:
"The article by former police detective Mark Williams-Thomas carried the headline 'I posed as a 14-year-old girl on Facebook. What follows will sicken you'. But in today’s newspaper, the Mail admits that Williams-Thomas was not using Facebook at all, but an entirely different and so far unspecified social networking site".A spokesman for Mark Williams-Thomas said that the article was credited to him even though the whole thing had consisted of a telephone interview.
"He has never, ever said it was Facebook. We have told Facebook that Mark never said in any way shape or form that it was Facebook and it couldn’t be because you are not able to do that on Facebook", he added.
Needless to say, the article has obviously been removed from the Mail website.
UPDATE: More news on the subject from Simon Owens at Bloggasm.