Benteke Broken Leg & Mistaken Identity
“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.”
We all make mistakes from time-to-time with spellings and dates etc, but when you’re a newspaper that is meant to specialise on certain teams, you’d expect to get things like scores (remember this) and player’s names right. Below, we see how the Birmingham Mail mistook the Midlands most famous player of one team with a sadly departed ex-player from another team in the region.
Also, when will the media realise that Twitter is not a factual news source to base news stories on? A Tweet from an official account may offer something, but just taking random people’s tweets as gospel without checking or researching is a road to ruin. The Birmingham Mail found that out when MOMS busted them in their story about West Brom crowd trouble. The person who wrote that story is a journalist no more and now works in social media for the National Farmers Union – fitting, since he seemed to love Twitter so much.
Last week, when thousands of people saw Tweets flying around saying Benteke had broken his leg on international duty, without questioning it, many chose to believe it, right away. It’s a cautionary tale, as we’ll see, as it plays out below. UTV
Birmingham Mail – Don’t seem to know who Christian Benteke is…
The key player match-up of the season opener between Arsenal and Aston Villa was apparently Per Metesacker vs Christian Benitez
1. Unless Mertesacker can make contact with the spirit world, this is a bit of a no-go match-up for the game at the Emirates.
2. A mistake is a mistake, but this one unfortunately was a little bit insensitive too with Benitez’s unfortunate passing. Don’t they use sub-editors at the Birmingham Mail? Or at least somebody who has a basic knowledge of football.
Media Muppet Score: 10/10
Ex-Player Football Pundits and Twitter ITK fall for the Benteke Breaking Leg News
Christian Benteke came on as a sub for Belgium against France at the Stade Roi Baudouin in Belgium last week. Meanwhile in the UK, a couple of Villa fans, up for a laugh, tweeted the Villa forward had gone off injured with a suspected broken leg. Some ITK (In the Know) websites that people continually foolishly follow, without checking, spread the news like wild fire. Football pundits/Twitter personalities such as Joey Barton, Stan Collymore and Didi Harmann all took the bait. Egg. On. Face.
Do people believe everything they read? Even on Twitter?! Apparently so…
Now this Indykaila chap poses on Twitter as a ITK. ‘Contacts within the game’, it says on his Twitter page which 80,000+ people follow. He’s one of many. It’s Twitter pages like this that suddenly turn Tweets from lads having fun to ‘Breaking news’.
MOMS first found out about this supposed Benteke situation, when we received a ‘Is the Benteke broken leg rumour true?’ email. We knew Benteke had just come on as a sub, so thought it was very unlikely, and double-checked with a Belgium and French feed of the game. Now, I know Benteke is made of steel, but from the pictures and footage we saw, he was doing a very good job of walking off the pitch at full-time, if he did have a broken leg!
The key moral of the story here is – we checked. It took five seconds.
The problem with Twitter is, everyone wants to be first with the news or have an opinion. Whether it’s correct or not, seems to be of secondary importance. As a result, the pundits fell into the Benteke broken leg trap one-by-one:
After the rumour instigators had their five seconds of fame and wound up those who had fallen for it…
…it was apology time for the football Twitter gods…
The initial rumour spreaders were given a hard time by other Villa fans on Twitter, but their anger mainly came from being duped by it. The fault really lay at the door of those who spread it without checking their facts first. If they have thousands of followers, they really should be taking a bit more responsibility. At least Collymore, to his credit, was happy to roll with the punches and carry on the joke when Villa’s first match arrived.
Media Muppet Scores:
ITK – 10/10
Pundits – 8/10
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