News.com.au – Terrorists in SL

Mainstream media reporting of Second Life in Australia has a mixed track record, and one of the biggest low points would have to be in this article on the news.com.au website published today. It can also be found on The Australian website.

The article starts off regurgitating the (never confirmed) accusation that the 22nd May issues with ABC Island were due to a ‘bomb’. Then it goes further downhill from there, describing how “landscapes are razed and residents are wounded or killed” after an attack by the SL Liberation Army.

It seems doubtful that the article’s author, Natalie O’Brien, has spent more than ten minutes in SL given the range of other factual errors contained in the story. Here’s one more example to get you worked up: “This terror campaign, which has been waged during the past six months, has left a trail of dead and injured, and caused hundreds of thousands of dollars’ damage”.

The sad thing is, the shoddy premise of the article overshadows the legitimate concern about the power of virtual worlds for use in criminal pursuits. Yes, terrorists groups COULD use streaming video in SL to broadcast propaganda or training. But why would you bother? I suppose potential terrorists may believe the misinformation about being able to wound or kill people in SL and decide they’ll register for some killing fun. My, how they’ll be disappointed.

Comments

  1. They have another version of the story where the writer admits later the problem at the ABC was a server error. The link on the Australian is: http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,,2…

    Here’s what the journo says at the start of that article:

    “THE bomb hit the ABC’s headquarters, destroying everything except one digital transmission tower. The force of the blast left Aunty’s site a cratered mess.”

    Then she later admits:

    “The ABC has discovered that its bomb was a computer server error that it was able to fix within a couple of hours.”

    Although even here she is still calling it a bomb.

    At the end of the article it says:

    Natalie O’Brien is a senior writer on The Australian.

    HMMMMM.

  2. Gobsmacked! Is there some “Worst Reporting on Second Life” award going at the moment?

  3. If there is, that would win it. It’s a complete pile of Shirky.

  4. Gobsmacked! Is there some “Worst Reporting on Second Life” award going at the moment?

  5. And they say all the amateurs are running blogs and youtube! Here is a link to one of the best reports on the ABC saga…

  6. If there is, that would win it. It’s a complete pile of Shirky.

  7. Josh Rogan says:

    Yep, the Oz story (which also appeared in print) was a real shocker – a total waste of space.

    By the way, that ABC “griefing” incident that was later found out to be a server error … everyone is tut tutting the press for getting it wrong. But it was the ABC that put out a press release saying the island had been attacked by griefers.

    You can see the press release here (even thought it says “news story”, it’s from the ABC media unit):
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2007/05/22/1930123.htm

  8. And they say all the amateurs are running blogs and youtube! Here is a link to one of the best reports on the ABC saga…



  9. Josh Rogan says:

    Yep, the Oz story (which also appeared in print) was a real shocker – a total waste of space.

    By the way, that ABC “griefing” incident that was later found out to be a server error … everyone is tut tutting the press for getting it wrong. But it was the ABC that put out a press release saying the island had been attacked by griefers.

    You can see the press release here (even thought it says “news story”, it’s from the ABC media unit):
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2007/05/22/1

  10. Having read the article by that imbicile reporter, one can only surmise that she is living in her own fantasy world.

    Yes there are terrorists in SL, they are called griefers. Yes they are a pain, but they do not kill people in the real sense of the word.

    This imbicile reporter needs to get out in the real world and experience real world events, such as having a loaded rifle pointed in your direction. Now that’s scary.

  11. Having read the article by that imbicile reporter, one can only surmise that she is living in her own fantasy world.

    Yes there are terrorists in SL, they are called griefers. Yes they are a pain, but they do not kill people in the real sense of the word.

    This imbicile reporter needs to get out in the real world and experience real world events, such as having a loaded rifle pointed in your direction. Now that’s scary.

  12. They have another version of the story where the writer admits later the problem at the ABC was a server error. The link on the Australian is: http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,,22161037-28737,00.html?from=public_rss

    Here’s what the journo says at the start of that article:

    “THE bomb hit the ABC’s headquarters, destroying everything except one digital transmission tower. The force of the blast left Aunty’s site a cratered mess.”

    Then she later admits:

    “The ABC has discovered that its bomb was a computer server error that it was able to fix within a couple of hours.”

    Although even here she is still calling it a bomb.

    At the end of the article it says:

    Natalie O’Brien is a senior writer on The Australian.

    HMMMMM.

  13. If she’s a senior writer maybe they should pension her off. She’s obviously past her prime.

  14. If she’s a senior writer maybe they should pension her off. She’s obviously past her prime.

  15. Unfortunately the inaccuracies have continued into the UK with this completely pointless post trying to sensationally link Islamic Jihads with SL.

    http://www.brandrepublic.com/Blogs/showpost/fb1

    Oh dear….

  16. Unfortunately the inaccuracies have continued into the UK with this completely pointless post trying to sensationally link Islamic Jihads with SL.

    http://www.brandrepublic.com/Blogs/showpost/fb128a03-150a-4ad5-8801-3cbcf4dfd034/

    Oh dear….

Trackbacks

  1. […] taking the whole story with a large grain of salt as it’s written by Natalie O’Brien, who has some serious bad form in reporting on Second Life. If the AFP do establish a presence, it’ll be interesting to see […]

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  4. […] – this was always an easy prediction. Thankfully there weren’t stories as bad as the 2007 clanger from News Limited but there was still no shortage of misinformed […]

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