Friday, August 3, 2012

Investigative Journalism and Web 2.0

Newspapers and magazines do live to a large extent of investigative journalism; that means somebody is going to a lot of trouble, talking to a lot of people, looking at a lot of things, visiting a lot of places etc. to find out the truth behind something he writes an article about later.

Today people get most of their information not from newspapers and magazines anymore but from forums, from the web 2.0 where interested people can comment and contribute.

Lately somebody did postings on internet media he probably dreams of as investigative journalism. But there might be just one thing he misunderstood: When investigating journalists seek the truth they do select, which sources they follow, which people they ask, what they ask etc. If one wants to do what he might call “investigative journalism” on the web by visiting and looking at websites he is confined to the information people allow to be exposed. Is that investigative journalism? Definitely not! It’s merely collecting info others put there for you to get it, just like the press department of a company gives out as the truth about the company. It’s filtered and modified information.

Guess that is something that the person dreaming that dream should consider. No, I won’t tell who I’m referring to. Let him search, and if he finds this posts, let him get the idea that he’s meant all by himself.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The "Farang" domain

Since the forum's admin has the bad habit of deleting or editing his own posts when they turned out to be controversial, it has been suggested to take screenshots more often. But for now we have to live on what we got. One episode about him trying to poke fun:

"What makes me laugh is that they seem to hate this forum so much but they can't stop discussing it. There are so many posts and threads there about this forum and members here that I really wonder what they would discuss if this forum didn't exist. Never mind. It's plain for all to see what characters the main posters are there. I'm just glad they aren't here. An island of sanity in a sea of pirates and sharks. That comment should get a dozen or more posts over there." 

You won't believe it: it even gets a special place on the web, since things get lost far too easily in forums. He received as an answer this comment:

"Alfie!!!!! For one what is wrong about feeling concerned for our fellow expats in Korat?  But the far bigger issue is that we have to suffer from silly actions by "members" of your forum, be them performed by yourself or somebody else. That issue stems from you, the "secret" admin, having chosen the word "farang' for the domain of your forum, signalling your forum would represent farangs in general in Korat, claiming sole representation. Since the Thais here do call about all Western people 'farangs' we are suffering by the actions on your forum, because we as 'farangs' do get blamed for what is going on on that forum calling itself 'farang'. So everything negative or even only questionable that is going on on your forum we do have to expose on here, making clear that it isn't us who is doing that. You gave us a helluva job by naming your forum 'farang', forcing us that way to defend ourselves against being put into the same basket with the "members" of your forum, imposing upon us the need to distance ourselves by critical remarks.

But why should we hate it? We do have more common sense! I hope you don't blame that apparent DDoS attack on somebody from this forum now!

We only wish you, the "members" performed by you and the few actually physically existent members of your forum wouldn't do as much damage to the 'farang' community in Korat by exposing themselves as, let's just say, "unreflectant"

You should have chosen a domain for your forum that does not "spill over" to other people, a unique term for an artificial group instead of a common word for a natural group. Then those now soiled by the actions on your forum maybe would not have to keep clarifying  that they are not part of that.

In my eyes, the use of the word 'farang' in the domain without any distinction is abuse at the expense of all the other foreigners in Korat who are called 'farangs' by the locals. What you thought as a smart gimmick to attract members was extremely inconsiderate towards other foreigners in Korat, especially in regard of the way you are running your forum. You are soiling 'foreigners' reputations in general. And we have to defend ourselves from being soiled by what comes off your forum!"

Now that made him hide/remove/delete his original comment again!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The farang forum farce was the first local forum in Nakhonratchasima. It lasted five years before its admin realized that running a forum isn't a piece of cake.

Funnily or better sadly another guy thought he could cash in on the name and registered the domain with a hyphen. He opened an identical forum. And when there were no real members he just made some up. OK, I'm told that is a fairly legitimate way of starting a forum: have a few fictitious members post first and attract attention.

Problem in that case turned out, that the real people who signed up were soon all banned; the admin filled their positions with more and more fictitious members. Well, on the vast internet this might not turn out a problem; other real members could come. But with a local forum, the thing is a little different: There might not be any new people to sign up anymore after a while of banning. And then the farce with the fictitious members might turn more than just ridiculous.

Will be continued...