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The Speed of Spread

Probably an act of misinformation I should have corrected earlier, but the last two weeks of my life was replaced by a flash of green, the smell of musty army equipment and the absence of any decent computing input device.
The Nokia E91 is a window of freedom, but its tiny keypad makes Twitter's 140 character limit a godsend.
So a couple of weeks ago I blogged about <a href="http://tribolum.com/archives/2009/08/missed-1.php">the premature demise of my favourite teacher in all the world</a>, only to receive an email from same said teacher, a Facebook invitation to connect and a comment to the blog entry.
He is alive and well.
My initial reaction wasn't to panic that I had perpetuated "news" of his passing on to what could be a sizable number of people. It was one of relief.
Then my inner geek took over and I began analysing how misinformation is spread. My initial source of information was credible: a personal friend and a student at the same school, many years my junior. But names are tricky, and it was another Mr. Ng who suffered an untimely demise.
This probably won't be the last time I blog, tweet, facebook or transmit misinformation, especially emotive pieces that spur one's instinct to react. But if anything, it is a personal case study on the importance of triangulating information versus the trigger-happy gen-y tendency to broadcast.

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