Memory Hole

For some time yesterday, RTE and Highland radio websites carried the news that an iceberg could be seen off Arranmore island in Co Donegal. The story was false.

The story is now gone from both websites, and at time of writing, neither mentions that it ever existed.

The only online news source to carry the story of the hoax is the Donegal News, which explains that ‘the reports were the result of an elaborate hoax after an islander sent out an email in effort to “cheer everyone up” following the recent cold-snap.’

Check online discussion boards and twitter though, and you’ll get the full story behind the hoax.

Meanwhile, the Donegal News website is quite limited, and the story will disappear from it in a few days time. Unless it gains legs and is picked up elsewhere, there will be no record of it I traditional media websites within a week.

Winston Smith would be proud.

Traditional media doesn’t like being caught out, and it’s instinct is to ignore, not apologise. Masal Bugduv only came to light because bloggers spotted it, and the Irish independent has never acknowledged it was suckered by the Carravaggio hoax.

So who do you trust?

The camera may not lie, but Photoshop is less reliable.

By Gerard Cunningham

Gerard Cunningham occupies his time working as a journalist, writer, sub-editor, blogger and podcaster, yet still finds himself underemployed.

One comment

  1. I saw that last week. I was looking at the pic and thinking that doesn’t look anything like Tory Island nor the surrounding waters. Now, I’ve never even been to Tory and I know this. How come none of these journalists could cop on to this? (I suppose they’re too busy to do any proper fact checking and it shows how easy it is to “social engineer” people with fake news).

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