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Daily Archives: February 7, 2012

From KC JOHNSON: I’m a professor of history a Brooklyn College. I blogged and co-wrote a book (with Stuart Taylor) on the Duke lacrosse case.

I occasionally still update the blog, mostly on matters related to the players’ civil suit, which has the potential to be precedent-setting in higher-ed law. But I recently came across a post by Poynter’s Kelly McBride in which she both used Wendy Murphy as a source and referenced Murphy as an instructor in a Poynter seminar. Murphy had been a frequent commentator in the lacrosse case; over and over and over again, she simply invented “facts” to bolster her pro-prosecution viewpoint.

I had assumed that Poynter would be horrified by its connection with a serial fabricator; it turns out, after I heard back from McBride, that I was wrong, as I noted in the post summarizing the matter.

I’m obviously not a journalist, but I had assumed that for a group like Poynter, there’d be no bigger sin that a person using repeated, and easily checkable, misstatements of truth. That Poynter would put such a figure in a position to instruct journalists very much surprises me.

* Poynter & The Serial Fabricator

I’ve invited McBride to respond. Disclosure: I was once employed by Poynter.

UPDATE: Read McBride’s letter to Johnson after the jump. Read More

Facebook claims it has 845 million “monthly active users” and an even more incredible 483 million “daily active users,” but Andrew Ross Sorkin says “those eye-popping numbers should have an asterisk next to them” because of the social-media company’s “active user” definition.

Every time you press the “Like” button on NFL.com, for example, you’re an “active user” of Facebook. Perhaps you share a Twitter message on your Facebook account? That would make you an active Facebook user, too. Have you ever shared music on Spotify with a friend? You’re an active Facebook user.

Sorkin points out, though, that “Facebook’s definition of ‘active’ is nowhere near as problematic as Groupon’s fanciful accounting, and it does not appear that Facebook is trying to deceive investors.”

* Those millions on Facebook? Some may not actually visit
* Facebook’s Timeline facelift concerns some of its users