2006-07-27

What happens to a newspaper when there are no news?

Evidentally, very little is happening in Sweden right now. This is indicated by an attack against the Bureau of Piracy that turned out to become quite a funny story - only the laugh is on the attacker.

Swedish daily Svenska Dagbladet ran a story about Piratshoppen, the website that sells Piratbyrån and the Pirate Bay related material such as T-shirts, stickers and so on. The article claimed that Piratshoppen sold material of a lesser moral standard. They claimed that via the shop, one could purchase T-shirts with captions such as, 'All women desire anal sex', and 'Feminism - for those who are fet, ugly and jealous'. The material sold was labaled 'sexist', which I can agree is a rather accurate term for the captions in the example.

But Piratbyrån doesn't sell their T-shirts directly. They hire a company called Peer99 to provide this service. They also have other customers, and all customers, including Piratbyrån, have their own sections in the website. The reporter had find the offensive T-shirts under sections belonging to other customers.

To make matters worse, Piratbyråns web server had been in police custody for almost two months when the article was published about 22 hours ago. Instead it had been replaced by a temporary newssite in the form of a blog, which hadn't even linked to Piratshoppen. In the article, the reporter claims that Piratbyrån hasn't become rich by advertisements, 'as we last month uncovered that the Pirate Bay did', but from the Piratshoppen. But as a matter of fact The Pirate Bay linked to Piratshoppen, and Piratbyrån did, in fact not, untill very recently.

The situation is clear - the reporter had countered the lack of local happenings by fabricating a story based on in-correct claims, to point an accusating finger at a website that hardly even existed most of the time that the story covered - and the accusation, amounting to something like 'They get fat off of sexism' - is based completely on 'guilt by association', which is something that a respectable newspaper should be very careful to avoid.

It could end with this, the fact that a notable Swedish daily pointed a guild-by association accusation against Piratbyrån based on inaccurate claims, but it didn't.

Not long after the article was published, some industrious digger found out an interesting fact, taste this: Svenska Dagbladet also have a shopping system, by an external provider, linked to their website, as part of their advertising system. Just as they claim Piratbyrån have. And Svenska Dagbladets webshop sold hardcore porn movies, with titles such as Anal Cunts, The Wrong Hole, Italian Lolita 1-5 Limited Edition and Mattress III - hardly something that promotes a very positive view on women, in other words.

So, not only did this accusation take place, it took place in a newspaper that does the same thing - only they're selling movies picturing women as sexual organs and mattresses.

This resulted in a number of comments on the article, as well as blog postings (sorry, no English links as of yet, you just have to believe me on this one). Not long after this occured, the porn was suddenly removed from SvDs website. A few hours later, it seems that the article has been a bit edited and corrected. Perhaps some editor pulled the young reporter in the ear and told him something about how he wasn't working on a tabloid?

It would be nice, however, to see if Svenska Dagbladet or the reporter takes their responsibility and act upon this, maybe put on some kind of aknowledgement - because aside from the fact that the newspaper did the same thing as the article accused others of doing; to point an accusing finger at someone, based on 'guilt by association' and false facts is not a nice thing to do, and it should be followed by some form of official 'please excuse us, we were wrong'.

Links (all in Swedish, I'm afraid)
Copyriot
Frihet, fildelning och feminism
Sänd mina rötter regn

1 comment:

kdsde said...

Question: What happens to a blog when there are no new news in the newspaper that the blog is reporting about?


Answer: the blog is reporting the same story 3 times in a row.
;)

(you might want to delete 2 of this 3 copies) ;)