MSVU Social Media Course Blog

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What to believe online – “Student hoaxes world’s media with fake wiki quote”

What information can we trust? Millions of people a day conduct searches online to find out information. Some is for grade 4 history reports while others are to some degree of great importance.

Shane Fitzgerald, a Dublin university student tested the media by posting an inaccurate quote by Maurice Jarre (French composer), which he said hours before his death.  This was a false quote written really by Shane to prove that our world is becoming too globalized.

When reading this article I found it scary but also entertaining. The scary part is that it is possible that one can have the power to alter and add information on the Internet, where millions of people a day seek to find true facts. It is also a little disturbing that this student would take advantage of the death of someone to conduct an experiment.

However I do understand what the student was trying to prove and test. It’s entertaining that people based a lot of what they know from reading something fast online.  It does go to show that people these days “do” and then ask questions later when receiving information.

Personally, I use Wikipedia to conduct fast searches, and I’m not going to lie, I use the information there because it’s quick and easy and sometimes I can’t find the information anywhere else (maybe there is a reason for this lol). But like Walsh said in the article, “ if you see that quote on Wikipedia, find it somewhere else too.”

I don’t know about you guys but I’ll remember to do that!


May 24, 2009 - Posted by | Comment on Course Material

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