Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Web 2.0 and Rumours: Even the US Supreme Court is Not Immune

The online legal publication Above the Law provides an interesting analysis of how erroneous rumours quickly spread last week that the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, John Roberts, was about to announce his retirement:

"Like many a promising legal career, the Roberts resignation rumor traces its origins to a 1L class at Georgetown University Law Center (...)

"Our criminal justice professor started our 9 am lecture with the news that roberts will be resigning tomorrow for health reasons — that he could not handle the administrative burdens of the job. He would not say how he knows — but halfway through our lecture on the credibility and reliability of informants he revealed that the Roberts rumor was made up to show how someone you ordinarily think is credible and reliable (ie a law professor) can disseminate inaccurate information."

Of course, all the students immediately text messaged, IM'ed, tweeted, or Facebooked all their friends and things just kind of snowballed.

Wow, as easy as that.

Or this (apologies to Gordon Lightfoot).

All this technology and we are still as gullible as ever.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 12:47 pm


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