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Subject: Re: False report on Hvorostovsky
From: John Rahbeck <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:[log in to unmask]
Date:Sat, 14 Oct 2017 09:47:30 -0400
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This has concerned me as well. It's bad enough that many false rumors about 
 singers have been repeated so many times that they are accepted fact, but 
when  fake news is cleverly disguised as legitimate news, I think we have 
arrived  at a crisis situation where the general public can be too  easily 
manipulated into a new kind of mob mentality. What a clever way  to sway public 
opinion and to get a country to distrust anything the news  or their 
government says. The real war is being fought on the Internet, and it  does 
concern us because it has reached Opera-L
 The question is what can we really do about it. 
John Rahbeck
   
 
 
In a message dated 10/14/2017 6:19:03 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time,  
[log in to unmask] writes:

This is  a perfect example of how scary the “fake news” immediate 
spreading to  respectable sources is… It really frightens me to know that once again 
we are  in cold war of words where these tweets and posts (mostly from 
Russia) can  initiate an avalanche that spreads in moments to all over the world 
and could  create major damage.  Apologies for the “political” post, but 
it concerns  all of us.


On 10/14/17, 1:09 AM, "Discussion of opera and related  issues on behalf of 
Janos Gereben" <[log in to unmask] on behalf of  [log in to unmask]> 
wrote:

Gabe, thank you for your  spirited and excessively kind defense of my role 
in the 
Hvorostovsky rumor, but that stupid and mean fake news did not start with 
me -  far from 
it. 

I  didn't know it at the time, but later the story became clear: The 
original  post was an 
individual Russian one, picked up and  distributed by RT (Russia Today, 
years ago created in 
the  fashion of DW and BBC but then prostituted to become Putin's organ of  
propaganda, 
covering neither Russia nor today... a sorry  fact that probably has 
nothing to do with 
Hvorostovsky.)

When a singer I know posted  the death report, without sourcing it, on 
Facebook, I 
forwarded it as an unconfirmed report, saying that I cannot find any  
verification, asking if 
anybody does. Minutes later, the  BBC, Wiki, dozens of others confirmed it, 
and only then 
did  I post it on Opera-L - it wasn't the first. Only later did Tim Page 
relay the  message from 
Hvorostovsky's wife that he is alive and well.  

I regret the whole affair and my part in  it, although the false 
verification was very 
convincing, but  I am far from being the source and original perpetrator. 

Unlike Gabe's supposition that this was a unique event, in  my decades of 
journalism I made 
many mistakes, some real  stupid ones, which continue to rankle even after 
corrections and 
apologies. What I find astonishing is that without the layers of  editing 
and proofing in the 
days of NEWSPAPERS, today's  global free-for-all doesn't screw up more 
often and in a 
worse fashion than it does. Sigh.

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