Thursday, August 30, 2007

We live in a crazy world

We live in a crazy world where every Tom, Dick and Harry can publicize and rant all his extra gas and steam for the world to see. While there might be benefits to blogging, there are dangers too.

Blogs have the power to spread information at lightening speeds all over the world. I've been around long enough to see false rumours and gossip being told as fact with damaging results.

Such as here where he gets an email from a "source with impeccable credentials" that at the recent wedding of Rabbi Kotler's daughter, there was a 10 piece band and 5,000 guests. In the comments, he claims - "All I did was point out a fact". His title - "Leading by example" was clearly showing his directive. He was out to bash the RY of Lakewood for such an extravagant wedding. And the commenters read it and got riled up, and started the anti-RW/anti-Charedi/anti-Gedolim bashfest.

But I was there. There was no 10 piece band. It was a 5 piece band. Anyone familiar with bands knows that a 5 piece band is pretty basic. Its only once you go past 5-6 pieces where it becomes excessive. Now, while even a 5 piece band is still more excessive than a one man band, can it be that the Neginah Orchestra representative in Lakewood who at least in my Kollel days used to learn in BMG the whole first Seder (and quite possibly still does) arranged a special discounted rate for the RY?

I spoke to a friend who works for the caterer. He told me that 1130 portions were ordered, not 5,000 or anything close to that. Quite possible that 4,000 people showed up at the Simchas Chosson V'kalla to wish the Rosh Yeshiva Mazel Tov, an appropriate gesture of Hakoras Hatov.

So here is an example of a blog posting with pure fabrications. Now while I have to credit him for finally (!) retracting and apologizing (with much prodding and protests from my end), has anyone walked away without seeing the apology? Or even with seeing it, nevertheless walked away with a bad taste?

That's just one example of negative misinformation being disseminated on blogs. There's plenty more which go uncontested. Too much false gossip and slander. Blogs are a medium with no regulations. Anyone can say anything they want. And that's dangerous.

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