The Tale of “The Tale of Dog Poop Girl Is Not So Funny After All” Is Pretty Funny After All

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009

I at first didn’t know how to respond to this piece of stale Weird News fluff. I think it deserves more than 140 or 280 or 420 characters though.

(For the lazy man: the article, circa 2005, is discussing the internet, specifically privacy implications, and gives the last word to an extended quote from a pseudonymous comment on the WaPo’s article on the incident which goes straight to drawing parallels to Hitler, do not pass $200.)

On the surface, this is yet another in a sad instance of Traditional Media √† la mode du aging¬†boomer uncle — trying to email you links but just sending you blue underlined text — but there’s something more going on.

Looking a little deeper, the site it’s posted on, Columbia Journalism Review, is a fine fat goose of potential irony. From its bio slash mission statement:

Both online and in print, Columbia Journalism Review is in conversation with a community of people who share a commitment to high journalistic standards in the U.S. and the world.

So an Old Media group dedicated to Good Journalism has an intern post on a blog an entry about the privacy implications of anonymous speech on the internet, and the intern manages to not just observe and report but actually become a participant in the very proliferation of anonymous hate speech she’s panning in the article. Heavy.1

I still don’t know what the take away here is except a headache. Aspirin, anyone?

  1. One big, obvious source of hope is that this incident is from 2005. I know nothing about CJR and couldn’t tell you if they’ve improved or not.