Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Letterman does bed bug movie on August 31, while false tweet scrambles Toronto movie festival

Letterman did a routine on bed bugs on August 31, 2001 in the form of a movie starring Mark Harmon as Mayor Bloomberg, and Letterman as a bed bug victim. Separately, Letterman lampooned Jet Blue as a good place to bury dead people.

Meanwhile, coming along with the Washington Post fake tweet [Mike Wise's false tweet on Ben Roethlisberger], there was an unreliable tweet on bed bugs in Toronto. From an account by Jennifer Yang:

Rather, it is a story about a rumour, one that was spawned by an online suggestion of a nasty bed bug infestation. It proliferated into numerous reports on blogs and newspaper sites and through the mystical machinations of Web 2.0, the mere idea of creepy crawlies is now threatening to hijack the Toronto International Film Festival and one of its most important venues.

But in the beginning, there were just a few itchy spots — and a single tweet. Call it a cautionary tale on how things can go from tweets to grief in less than 24 hours.

“It begins as something on Twitter and the next thing you know, you’re talking to someone from the Toronto Star,” mused Bob Reid, a crisis communications expert and media strategist with Veritas Communications.

“This whole story shows how things can move faster than the speed of light on social media.”

On Aug. 24, Toronto-based music writer Helen Spitzer attended a 6:10 screening of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World at Scotiabank Theatre in downtown Toronto. Later that night, she awoke with itchy spots on her back, bottom and thighs — all body parts that would have come into contact with a theatre seat.

[which later morphed into]

“Bad, Bad news from Toronto re: #TIFF10,” he fired off on his cellphone. “Torontonian Friend got, yes, bedbugs at the Scotiabank -- a.k.a. where all press screenings are.”

One wonders how long it will take for false internet reports to appear as prior art in information disclosure statements in patent documents?

Earlier IPBiz post on WaPo fake tweet:

WaPo: Using Social Networking Tools for Personal Reasons


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