Opinion

Anthony De Rosa

Was This American Life duped before?

Anthony De Rosa
Mar 19, 2012 23:09 UTC

Mike Daisey’s fantastical story about the mistreatment of workers at Foxconn and how he duped This American Life into airing it as fact is now well known. (if somehow you’ve been under a rock for the last week, here are smart takes by Jack Shafer and Felix Salmon) It may not, however be the first time that This American Life was duped by a con artist.

In fact it might be the third time, as Jack Shafer pointed out after Malcolm Gladwell’s “The Moth” story was aired on This American Life, which Gladwell later copped to being not entirely fact based.

A story that This American Life aired back in 1997 involved disgraced former journalist Stephen Glass discussing his time as a psychic. Glass later wrote this story for Harper’s February 1998 issue, as Aida Edemariam recounts in a May 2004 story for the Guardian.

The trouble was, in the February 1998 issue, we had just published a piece by Glass, a colourful tale of late nights spent working as a phone psychic. It had been checked by a colleague and had passed muster, but I was set to work, rechecking. The Post’s Howard Kurtz returned to the story a week later: “The New Republic has finished sifting through the journalistic wreckage left behind by Stephen Glass and the findings aren’t pretty: two-thirds of the 41 stories he wrote for the magazine were at least partially fabricated. Six articles” – and here Kurtz quoted from the New Republic’s apology, a half-page model of restraint compared to the Times’s 14,000-word mea culpa about its own fabricating journalist Jayson Blair five years later – ” ‘could be considered entirely or nearly entirely made up’.”

Here’s the audio of  Glass on This American Life:

Here’s the full episode that Glass appeared on (h/t Gabriel Snyder)

Hat tip to Duncan Ferguson for bringing the Stephen Glass association to This American Life to my attention.

The revolution will not be televised, it will however be livestreamed.

Anthony De Rosa
Mar 19, 2012 15:55 UTC

From Occupy Wall Street in its various locations around the world, to Tahrir Square in Egypt and now to Syria, where few reporters are able to enter, livestreams from citizen journalists increasingly are becoming the only window into what’s actually happening at any given moment during some of the biggest news events.

At the outset of the revolution in Egypt, a streaming video service called Bambuser allowed live video to be streamed directly from Tahrir Square. Ramy Raoof, human rights activist and editor for Egyptian Blog for Human Rights, regularly provided live video using nothing but his Nokia E90 camera phone.

This video, documenting a protest of the death and torture of Khaled Said, netted nearly 4,000 live viewers. The archive has been watched nearly 16,000 times.

Facebook brings new ad opportunities to brands

Anthony De Rosa
Feb 29, 2012 19:36 UTC

Facebook unveiled a number of new opportunities for advertising on their social network today, the biggest being the ability to post ads to mobile devices, which they had not yet been offering.

Facebook calls the new ad opportunities “Premium for Facebook” and it opens up the following placements:

    Larger ads on the side of the Facebook home page that users see when they first log in Ads that run inside the Facebook Newsfeed Ads on mobile devices Ads that appear when a user logs out of Facebook The ability to run video ads on all these placements

Can Pinterest sell your content?

Anthony De Rosa
Feb 29, 2012 15:40 UTC

Excitement around the meteoric rise of Pinterest may come at a cost to those jumping on the social media site. Its terms of service say it can distribute, license and sell any content you put on their site. What?! That’s right. And it is creating an uproar in the online world with many people wondering – can Pinterest really do this? I get to the bottom of this legalese with the help of tech, media and business lawyer and consultant, Ash Kalb.

Three challenges for Facebook’s IPO – Tech Tonic

Anthony De Rosa
Feb 25, 2012 05:38 UTC

Can Facebook live up to the hype? I uncover three problems standing in the way of Facebook’s future growth.

Red flags in the Facebook S-1 filing – Tech Tonic

Anthony De Rosa
Feb 25, 2012 05:29 UTC

Sam Hamadeh of PrivCo talks with me about the potential pitfalls in Facebook’s S-1 filing yesterday and why he’s bearish on Facebook’s IPO. Watch and find out why you might want to hold back some irrational exuberance when FB shares debut.

Overheard in the Alley – Tech Tonic

Anthony De Rosa
Feb 25, 2012 05:27 UTC

Silicon Alley in New York City has experienced a boom even as economic worries persist. I head into the heart of Silicon Alley to unearth the secrets to success of three of the hottest young tech companies.

Tim Pool: Occupy Wall Street’s mobile journalist – Tech Tonic

Anthony De Rosa
Feb 25, 2012 05:20 UTC

If you were to stop independent journalist Tim Pool on the street, you may think he’s just a bike messenger, with his skull cap, hoodie and shoulder strap bag. What you may miss is that Pool has transformed himself into a mobile journalist. He broadcast live videos in the midst of the Occupy movement using just an iPhone, a solar powered backpack and even a drone to an audience of thousands.

Don Tapscott: Revolutionizing business through Macrowikinomics – Tech Tonic

Anthony De Rosa
Feb 25, 2012 05:17 UTC

Don Tapscott, author of, Macrowikinomics: Rebooting Business and the World, is on a mission. He believes transparency and the sharing of ideas between corporations is key to economic recovery and job growth. An unwillingness to share information on how to manage risk, Tapscott tells me, is the main reason these companies almost brought down capitalism.

Is Google tracking you? – Tech Tonic

Anthony De Rosa
Feb 25, 2012 05:13 UTC

I take on the explosive issue of internet privacy, showing how Google and other sites track your movements on the web and how you can stop them.

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