If perchance I should see my own words staring back from the screen at me but in a piece (apparently) written by someone else (and yes, it has happened) then I shrug and smile.
All right, so some credit, mention or link back to the original piece might be nice.
But what the heck?
(Mis)Information on the Net is widely available to everyone and although it might not exactly be ethical (what's that then?) or good practice, the copy and paste brigade enjoy taking shortcuts.
So be it.
What about from the consumer's end though? As a regular Net user - whether simply reading or maybe researching - it's probably wise to pull up more than one source on a story just so that you can get a complete a picture as possible.
After all that's a practice all journalists are taught...although some might forget it.
And if the site you find is new, then maybe do a little digging to find out who's behind what's written and any agenda there might be.
In other words, check your source before you go ahead and quote something as "gospel".
There was apparently a rumour last week that former top model Adriana Karembeu was about to remarry.
"Apparently" - just how unsubstantiated can you get - because there didn't actually seem to be more than one source.
It appeared briefly on Yahoo news and then disappeared.
|Adriana Karembeu (screenshot from Omega TV interview February 2013)|
Even after typing "Adriana Karembeu" (after all that's the name by which she's probably still best known) "marriage" and "remariage" (French spelling) and "se serait mariée" just for good measure into everybody's favourite (???) search engine, the only recent page to be "reporting" the story was from what appeared to be a celebrity gossip website Mediamass.
Sure there were the usual culprits such as Public or Jean-Marc Morandini suggesting the 41-year-old was about to tie the knot in Marrakesh.
But that story dated back to September 2011, just six months after the model famous for legs that seemed to extend to her ears and beyond had split with her husband of almost 13 years, former French international Christian Karembeu.
So Mediamass - a relatively new player in online celebrity gossip and available in four languages: English, French, Spanish and Chinese.
It insisted that Karembeu had remarried last weekend, citing a leading daily Slovakian newspaper without providing any link.
Suspicions were further aroused by the most peculiar of copyright claimers at the end of the Karembeu piece...and every other "story" on the site as it turned out.
"Tous droits réservés. Reproduction interdite (même avec autorisation)" or "All rights reserved. Do not reproduce (even with permission)".
What was that supposed to mean?
And then the proverbial penny dropped especially when a link was added the following day; one that claimed the "story seemed to be false".
It was all one huge wind-up.
The site's raison d'être is to "use satire to expose with humour, exaggeration and ridicule the contemporary mass production and mass consumption," its authors observe.
And what better place to start with than the world of celebrity gossip?
Ha, ha, ha. Sides splitting.
The only problem, as more than one person pointed out in the comments section, is that it takes a certain amount of talent to satirise something or someone and to make it appear witty and clever.
All this particular Karembeu piece (and a similar one reporting her "death hoax") and other pieces on the site seemed to do was present an already dubious story in the most lame manner possible and for whom or for what?
"Not to change the world," apparently, but "at least to have a laugh while trying".
Oh well. It takes all sorts perhaps.