Tuesday, January 08, 2013

DoD Buzz-Job

1. Noun: A colloquialism for what happens when commercial military-oriented websites  "disappear" their mistakes down a memory hole instead of acknowledging them.
2. Verb: The act of erasing an e-publishing mistake on the internet in leiu of admission of same.

Usage: "Hey! They just pulled another "Buzz-Job" by posting that lame article called "Phantom Bombers Weigh Down Military Budget" and then pulling it without comment."

The "Phantom Bombers Weigh Down Military Budget" that, apparently, "aren't".

I'd link to the 27 December DoD Buzz article by Michael Hoffman that has the title as in quotes above, except it isn't "there" anymore. (Update: See end of this post for a link to Hoffman's 'do-over').

I noticed the link to it was missing from the DoD Buzz main page on the 4th of January. Thinking I must have incorrectly remembered where it was , I went looking for it elswhere. Nope. It WAS on DoD Buzz as the screen capture below of the 'Google cached' version then showed:

At the time, Google showed over 1500 hits for "Phantom Bombers Weigh Down Military Budget":

Here's a screenshot of the article as it was when it was 'disappeared'.

Here's my comment made the day it was posted.... with +33 'thumbs up'? (on DoD Buzz? Surprising, I know):

As of 6 January, the Google 'cache' link leads us to:

No preview available, and no web bots allowed. Tsk.

So the article is REALLY disappeared now. Except of course for the screenshot above.

One of the few merits of having a printed 'press' is the inherent accountability from not being able to recall their mistakes once distributed. The inverse of the same is the great scourge of e-journalism. They can make mistakes, relay falsehoods and publish propaganda press releases as 'news', complete do-overs, or even just lie.

They can do these things because in the end they can always just pretend it never happened if they can 'pull' the offending piece... and nobody notices.

Hey! Just checked again and DoD Buzz's Hoffman now has a ''Do-over" article up. In it he acknowledges his earlier 'mistake' - something I wish more journalists would do. I still think a correction to the original would make a better audit trail.

Feel free to compare the two stories.


Inflatable Shark said...

I noticed the "buzz job" yesterday and though, "What a shame, SMSgt Mac had a fine rebuttal in the comment thread... I wonder if that's why it vanished?"

SMSgt Mac said...

I was only one of many that saw through that one. It was so bad, I don't think anyone DIDN'T pick at it. The 180 degree 'do-over' is very good though, which speaks of no agenda on the part of the author, but I wonder how many press releases those guys get every day spoon-feeding them the activist-du-jour's pap and how many of them NEVER question the data?