Sex, Bluetooth, Made Up Fads… And The Lack Of Journalistic Inquiry

from the hmmm... dept

About a year ago, we first wrote about the practice of “toothing”, noting that it sounded very much like a made-up fad, or (at best) something a few geeks were hoping would actually become a fad. It involved using Bluetooth on your phones to anonymously hookup with other commuters for sex. If it sounded ridiculous, that’s because it was. As more news sources picked up on the story, we expressed more skepticism of the idea, noting that no one seemed to confirm any of this. The story died out, but was brought back to life today by someone asking whatever happened to toothing. A little attention from Slashdot, and the person who created it admitted that it was entirely a hoax. Of course, we weren’t the only ones who thought so. Others posted similar things noting that the whole story seemed unlikely (have you ever gotten Bluetooth to work on your phone?) and extremely weakly supported. Yet, Wired, the BBC and Reuters all ran stories on it, because it was too good of a story to bother fact check even remotely. Meanwhile we keep hearing stories about how bloggers can’t be journalists because they don’t have the same standards?

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Comments on “Sex, Bluetooth, Made Up Fads… And The Lack Of Journalistic Inquiry”

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dorpus says:

Be careful what you wish for

Asides from issues of credibility, there is lots of news out there that is either unreported, or not widely reported, because it talks about things people don’t want to hear. If there are no ethical constraints, it may not create a desirable situation. As irresponsible as mainstream media is, there are levels of fear-mongering they will not stoop to.

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