I can’t blog about every pukesome tabloid news article that comes my way, but this is sort of related to online security and stuff, so that’s my excuse.
Sky News published a story yesterday about a man who retrieved his stolen phone by way of a vigilante sting operation. The trap he laid involved impersonating a woman online without her permission and arming himself with hammer. Everybody LOLs.
<Begin sense of humour failure>
It pains me to link to it, but here’s the full article.
If you can’t see why this was incredibly stupid and dangerous, then you’re in the wrong place.
I’ll skip the obvious bits. I have questions –
- Does the press have a responsibility to point out how utterly stupid this was?
- Are they just reporting the facts, or condoning/glamorizing/encouraging his actions?
- Did Sky think the story was in the public interest, or just a LOL to boost their ad impressions?
- Why did Sky not get comment from OK Cupid, or from the police?
If they were just reporting the unbiased facts with whatever comment was available, then perhaps they could have done without the hero picture featuring deadly weapon.
Less obvious to the average reader is that impersonating a woman online (without her knowledge) to bait a criminal is also potentially dangerous for her. Decent journalism might dip into that idea. Well done Sky.
</End sense of humour failure>